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Entries in Mike Chilinski (11)


Man convicted in "puppy mill" case fighting for his property 

(HELENA)- The Jefferson County man who was convicted in a high profile animal cruelty case will get a chance to argue against the seizure of his property in a trial in Lewis and Clark County next year. 

Mike Chilinski was convicted 5-years ago on dozens of counts for running a "puppy mill" at his property near Boulder. More than 130-dogs were seized at the time. 

But Chilinski maintains the seizure of his home, and some mining claims, is unconstitutional.  Authorities argue he was growing marijuana and that allows the seizure under federal law. 

The Montana Supreme Court sided with Chilinski, sending the case back to District Court.

KXLH reports this week Judge Luke Berger said a trial to hear his case will happen sometime early in 2018. 


Dog breeder will spend 5-years in prison for abusing malamutes

Chilinski as he appeared during one of his initial court appearances- KXLH photoThe man convicted of keeping more than 100-malamutes in deplorable condition at his home in Jefferson County will spend the next five years in prison and could be ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. 

Mike Chilinski was arrested in the fall of 2011 and accused of abusing the 140-dogs. Authorities also found 200-marijuana plants while they were rescuing the dogs with the help of the Humane Society. He was convicted on 91-counts of animal cruelty several weeks ago.

KXLH reports that during his sentencing hearing Wednesday, a judge gave Chilinski a 30-year prison term, but agreed to suspend 25-years. He's also expected to pay restitution and prosecutors say that could amount to some $400,000. 


Chilinski found guilty on 91-counts of abusing dogs

Chilinski took the stand in his own defense- KXLH photo(HELENA)- A Jefferson County man is found guilty of 91-counts of abusing malamute dogs, completing a four-day trial. 

KXLH TV reports a jury found Mike Chilinski guilty Thursday afternoon, completing a story that started last fall when authorities seized dogs from his breeding operation. Chilinski's dogs were taken in a raid by the Humane Society and local authorities last fall. Police say they also found 200 marijuana plants on his property.

Chilinski took the stand in his own behalf during the trial, disputing claims that his dogs were in poor condition and telling the 6-men and 6-women on the jury he'd been breeding dogs as a business since the 1980s. He admitted times had been tough for his business before the seizure and he had made cutbacks to save money. Chilinski admitted he wasn't aware of all of the puppies' conditions and that some of them were "quite thin" during his testimony. 

Chilinski will remain in custody awaiting sentencing. He still must answer to federal drug charges. 


Adoption process underway for some of seized malamutes

Lewis & Clark Humane Society photo(HELENA)- Efforts to find homes for 33-malamutes seized from a man accused of abusing the dogs are now underway, with just over 30-dogs set to find new homes. 

Mike Chilinski is facing multiple counts of abusing the dogs, as well as growing marijuana, following the raid last October. Nearly 200 dogs were seized by local authorities and the Humane Society.

This week, Lewis & Clark Humane Society announced that Chilinski had agreed to release 33-dogs for adopted. KXLH reports the dogs are being spayed or neutered, and will be available for adoption. That process will be run through the Alaskan Malamute Assistance League. 

The rest of the dogs have been moved to a new location pending Chilinski's trial, which is expected to happen later this year. 


Defendant in malamute abuse case wants a new judge

The accused of abusing 140-malamute dogs last year wants a new judge to hear his case.

Mike Chilinski's dogs were seized in a raid by the Humane Society and local authorities last fall. Police say they also found 200 marijuana plants on his property.

KXLH reports Chilinksi wants a new judge to hear his case, claiming District Court Judge Loren Tucker recently issued a document reviewing the facts in the case that didn't reflect one point in his favor. Tucker says there's no bias against him.

Judge Wayne Phillips has been assigned to hear Chilinski's motion. 

Back in January, the courts ruled the Lewis and Clark County Humane Society can keep possession of the dogs until Chilinksi's trial.