13 Investigates


More dogs discovered at suspected puppy mill

Case still pending after 164 Pomeranians seized
Posted at 10:45 PM, Apr 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 16:56:31-05

More than four months have passed since 164 dogs were seized by Clark County Animal Control from the back of a truck.

While the case lingers in the District Attorney's office, Chief Investigator Darcy Spears found the story is starting all over again. 

The dogs were owned by Noela Velasco, a B-movie actress from the 1970s who has been breeding animals for years. 

"Why has she not been charged with that? There was certainly a lot of outrage," said Gina Greisen of Nevada Voters for Animals.

The Clark County District Attorney says the case is still under review pending additional information that they did not disclose.  

UPDATED: Dozens attend event in hopes of rescuing rescued Pomeranians

In the meantime, the Sandy Valley resident is once again amassing animals.  

"In the original bust, all the dogs were not there. And we feared that," Greisen says of the bust her organization engineered.

Although 164 dogs were seized from the U-Haul during the November bust in Clark County near the state line, sources say a number of puppies were still on Velasco's property on the California side. 

Just two weeks ago, on March 27, San Bernardino County Animal Control found 18 Pomeranians on Velasco's property.  

They issued multiple citations for failure to spay and neuter, no rabies vaccinations and for the dogs not being licensed.  

Code Enforcement authorities also cited Velasco for having too many animals (only four are allowed), plus insufficient sanitary drainage, unlawful structures and excessive rubbish. That was based on what they could see from the street because she denied them permission to enter the property.  

In new video obtained by Contact 13, you can hear dogs barking behind the plywood neighbors say Velasco extended along her fence after the U-Haul incident.  

On March 27 she also received a Notice of Violation for permitting animals to go without proper care and attention after authorities found a female Pomeranian named Scotch suffering from a leg injury. The animal had not been taken to a vet.  

Velasco didn't return our multiple calls for comment.    

"It's hard to believe that she's been able to skip out of every jurisdiction and get away with it," said Greisen.  

Contact 13 has been investigating Velasco since 2014.  

After a run-in with Las Vegas Animal Control, she moved to Pahrump.

"And brought what appears to be a fairly active animal breeding business along with her," said Nye County Emergency Management Director Vance Payne in a 2014 interview.

Nye County authorities cited Velasco for animal cruelty, having no breeder's license, too many animals and more. While still paying fines in 2016, she once again relocated -- this time to Sandy Valley -- just across the California state line.  

"What I want to know," said Greisen, "is who's going to stop her? Because she clearly isn't going to stop on her own."

Velasco faces penalties of more than $5,000 from those administrative citations.  

California authorities say she has until April 24 to fix the code enforcement violations, but more could be coming if they get a warrant to inspect the property.  

Whether anything will happen in Nevada remains to be seen.  

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