10 dogs taken from Vernon Hills house remain with animal control
The 10 dogs removed from a Vernon Hills house March 9 after a police search involving an unrelated matter remain in the custody of Lake County Animal Care and Control and likely will for some time.
How long depends on whether Antony Sehter, 18, of 1035 Pine Grove Court, who has been charged with violations of "animal owner's duties," relinquishes his rights to the dogs or fights in court to keep them.
"We certainly anticipate holding on to these dogs for quite some time," said Robin Van Sickle, manager of Lake County Animal Care and Control.
"This defendant wants his dogs back, so we'll have to wait out the proceedings until the court decides," she said.
The situation involving the dogs began when Vernon Hills police, assisting Mundelein and other authorities serving a search warrant on an unrelated matter, detected a strong odor of urine and saw animal feces throughout the house.
At the time, Simon Sehter, 20, was taken into custody on several drug-related charges. Vernon Hills police began a separate investigation involving the dogs, and the house was red-tagged by a village inspector as being uninhabitable.
Animal control was called and removed the dogs for evaluation per protocol, according to Van Sickle.
"There are standards we have to follow either under state laws or local ordinances," she said.
Antony Sehter was charged under Illinois' Humane Care for Animals Act with four counts of animal owner's duties violations. Owner's duties include providing good food and water and adequate shelter, for example, Van Sickle said, and animals impounded under these violations are required to be examined by a veterinarian to determine their overall health.
Vernon Hills police said Antony Sehter was charged because he holds the lease on the house.
Because the dogs are considered property as well as evidence in an ongoing case, animal control is being guarded about details such as their breeds, Van Sickle said. She said none of the dogs had to be hospitalized but all were given medication for intestinal parasites.
"They are in much better health now than when we got them," she said.
Van Sickle described the dogs as friendly and with good body weight. They are among 17 currently at the animal control facility on Peterson Road in Libertyville that has 42 dog pens.
Provisions of the law allow for the Lake County state's attorney's office to petition the court for up to 30 days of upfront boarding fees. Animal control charges $15 per day per animal.
Antony Sehter was released on bond with a court appearance scheduled for April 1.
• Daily Herald staff writer Lee Filas contributed to this report.