Rescue groups struggle to care for alleged puppy-mill Huskies - Tucson News Now

Local rescue groups struggle to care for Huskies seized from alleged puppy mill

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Dozens of Siberian Huskies are still looking for a permanent home after a breeder was evicted from his property in March.

Animal Control officials say the breeder had a history of complaints filed against him.

The owner, Paul Koprivka, was cited for neglect in 2009 for leaving his dogs tied outside in chains.
In 2010, they received complaints of excessive waste on the property. And in the last two years, there were more complaints of barking dogs, sick dogs, and just too many dogs on his property.

The owner says he took good care of his animals.

"Absolutely, excellent health," Koprivka said. "I have antibiotics, vitamins.. my dogs are healthier than most humans are."

The Sanctuary Project Rescue Group spread the word using social media and has helped take in dozens of Siberian Huskies.

"One thing after another," said Cyndi Cubillas, a member of the rescue group. "One posting after another and in a matter of hours here we are."

Since then, many local rescue groups have been caring for the Huskies. Cubillas says many of the dogs were found in pretty bad condition.

"They were hungry, they had matted coats, some had ear infections, some had eye infections."

Anthony's K-9 Academy on E. 22nd street heard the story and volunteered to groom all of the dogs for free. 

Jessica Shipman, a certified groomer said she started crying when she saw the animals.

"These dogs hadn't been brushed in months.  It was disgusting.  It was very hard to see."

Kristen Knauss, with Sierra Vista Animal Rescue said they had already spent thousands of dollars in caring for the Huskies.

"I have one completely shaved down to the skin due to the rash.  One needs Orthopedic surgery, another needs surgery on his paws. It's going to cost way over $1,500."

Knauss added that they were paying out of pocket for many of these expenses.  Some of the animals were ready for adoption.  Others were still a work in progress.  Many of them were nervous and skittish, or had no leash training.  Staff were working to train the animals and care for them.

Here is a list of the rescue groups who have helped take in some of the Huskies.  Rescue volunteers say the animals appear to be neglected and mistreated.  They all required vet attention which they are now getting.  They are also getting spayed/neutered, and vaccinated.  If you would like to help with these costs, or help provide food for the growing Husky puppies, you can contact the shelters directly.

Paw it Forward Arizona Rescue and Therapy for All rescued six of the puppies, you can contact them at

Arizona Small Dog Rescue took in 7 dogs.  Their website is

Arizona Siberian Husky Rescue and Adoption, Inc. (ASHRA) rescued three Huskies.  Their website is

The Aqua and Terra Fund was set up for two puppies saved in this rescue effort and for puppies that will be born to the pregnant dogs.  They are asking you to stay tuned for more information.

Sierra Vista Animal Rescue took in 7 Huskies.  They need help.  Their website is

Other donations such as food, treats, toys, collars, leashes, or harnesses are also welcome.  They are also looking for vets, trainers, and groomers who can help provide low cost services.  If you can help, please contact the Sanctuary Project at 800-691-9168.

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