Carley Mackenzie Ryan, 36, has been charged with four counts of felony animal torture, four counts of gross misdemeanor animal torture, and 14 counts of misdemeanor unwholesome enclosure of an animal.
On Oct. 18, 2023, the Cottage Grove Police Department contacted the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office about a possible animal cruelty case after eight dogs were found dead on Grey Cloud Island near Cottage Grove, court documents say.
Charges allege that investigators believed the eight dogs had come from For Furever, an Andover dog rescue, with Ryan being listed as the founder. An officer on routine patrol located a car registered to Ryan outside the closed business. The following day, investigators returned to the business but no one was there. Investigators could smell feces from outside the building and could see six to eight dogs of different breeds and sizes running loose in the building, as well as several more dogs in kennels.
Investigators contacted the property owner, who confirmed Ryan was the current tenant and was operating For Furever.
Officers executed a search warrant on the building, and were met with the "overwhelming odor of feces and urine," court documents allege. There were several dogs loose and the floor was wet and covered in a layer of excrement.
Twenty-two dogs were found in the building and seized. The dogs were being kept in cages that were too small, lacked bedding and none of the kennels had food or water in them. All 22 dogs received medical care from the Animal Humane Society. None of the dogs were healthy enough for adoption without medical intervention, charges said.
All 22 dogs had some sort of fecal or urinary scald to their feet and urine staining and feces matted into their fur, the charges allege. The scalding occurred due to the lack of a dry place for the dogs to stand or lie. Most of the dogs had some sort of lung issue, including lung scarring from the poor air quality in the building, investigators added. A large amount of ammonia was found in the building. Prolonged exposure to ammonia can cause infection, scarring of the lung tissue and potential life-long issues, court documents say.
Ryan told investigators the eight dogs found dead on Grey Cloud Island had come from her rescue. Ryan said she got the puppies from an auction in September 2023, and found out a week after getting them that they had contracted Parvo Virus, a highly contagious but treatable illness. None of the eight puppies received medical care for the virus, court documents say. Instead, Ryan said she "had some fluids on hand and fed the puppies a specialty food for easy digestion."
All eight dogs died naturally from the virus and were not humanely euthanized, which caused them to have prolonged and painful deaths, charges say.
The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office says the investigation remains open, and they continue to work with the Cottage Grove Police Department and the Animal Humane Society.
Ryan will have her first court appearance on March 22 at the Anoka County District Court.