Man accused of mistreatment of dogs pleads no contest in plea deal

A Washington County man pleaded no contest to five misdemeanor charges in a plea deal involving his role in the mistreatment of nearly three dozen dogs found on his property with inadequate living conditions.

68-year-old Russell Quaas was initially charged with six counts of intentionally mistreating animals, two counts of failing to provide food/water for animals and two counts of intentionally providing improper shelter for animals. The remaining five charges were dismissed as part of a plea deal.

Authorities say Quaas was operating an unlicensed dog breeding business out of his property that dealt with Jack Russell Terriers.

In January of 2023, Quaas was served a letter advising him he was in violation of the towns three pet law and it was at that time authorities saw several dogs tied to trees with short leashes in below 0 degree weather.

A search warrant was executed, and it was found there was no running water or electricity on the property. 20 dogs were chained up outside and another 14 were found in a trailer, mostly in crates lined with dirty pizza boxes.

The dogs were taken to the Washington County Humane Society where some were treated for worms and others had infections or mites, but all survived and were made available for adoption.

Quaas is due back in court for sentencing June 27th.