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Dog breeder in Warwick no longer has animals on property

FILE -- A dog breeder in Warwick with countless complaints lodged against him no longer has animals on the property he was renting. (Submitted photo)

A dog breeder in Warwick with countless complaints lodged against him no longer has animals on the property he was renting.

The city ordered the dogs had to be removed by Monday after the city found he violated several zoning ordinances.

Photos that were widely shared on social media previously showed dogs tied to a chain and in freezing weather at 409 Toll Gate Road next to Kent Hospital.

For more than 10 years, the city has received complaints about how animals were treated there.

“Fortunately, the dogs are all gone and the zoning case has been closed on this property, so it's nice to know that controversy is behind us,” Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian told NBC 10 News.

The city's zoning department recently found the dog breeder, Clifford Dennis, was operating a kennel in an office area without a special use permit.

“His lawyer made agreements as to seizing operation on that property,” Avedisian said. “He was renting and didn't own the property and the lawyer had made several agreements as to seizing operation in order to get rid of all the zoning issues that were on that property.”

The city has received complaints dating back to 2001 about Dennis. At the time, police found nine puppies and 11 dogs tied around the property with no access to food or water.

NBC 10 spoke with Dennis in December when he agreed to move the six dogs out of the cold on a rotating basis. He said he was breeding the dogs to hunt hogs.

Avedisian said in addition to removing the dogs from the property, the property owner has also agreed to knock down an abandoned, colonial home that’s on the property.

“That will be, I think, welcome activity, as well. The property has been in disrepair for a number of years,” Avedisian said.

The city said Dennis also forfeited the breeder's permit he had with the city. It's unclear where the dogs that were living on Toll Gate Road are being housed.

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