Accused Harvard puppy mill operator posts bail

Prosecutors have asked a judge to bar an alleged puppy mill operator from caring for any animals while he is free on bail.

Jan Wolanin, the 70-year-old mink farmer who police arrested on animal cruelty charges earlier this week, has been released from the McHenry County Jail after posting bail.

In a motion that McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Ladd filed Tuesday, he claimed that Wolanin was responsible for the death of five German shepherd dogs that were removed from his property at 18113 Route 173, Harvard.

The McHenry County Department of Health confirmed Tuesday that two of the 42 dogs housed on the Harvard farm have been euthanized. Some of the remaining dogs were sent to nearby rescues, but most are not currently available for adoption, health department officials said.

Wolanin, of the 400 block of Brook Lane, Glenview, was not appointed a public defender and hasn’t yet hired a private attorney.

An anonymous caller reported Wolanin in July after noticing that the dogs were chained up for long periods of time and weren’t receiving fresh food and water, despite the high temperatures.

According to an affidavit from animal control officer Annie Ward, Wolanin kept the dogs on 40 acres of farmland, where they were denied clean food and water.

Many of the dogs, aside from a litter of eight puppies, also had intestinal infections and untreated ear wounds, according to an affidavit.

Wolanin is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and misdemeanor cruelty to animals. Aggravated cruelty to animals is a felony typically punishable by as many as three years in prison.

When animal control officers visited the Harvard farm in July, they found dogs inside plastic houses that measured more than 100 degrees. Neighbors who live near the Harvard farm also have said the dogs were left outside throughout the winter and occasionally wandered off the property.

Most of Wolanin’s dogs were imported from Poland and had injuries to their ears and did not have access to fresh food or water.

Wolanin is due back in McHenry County court Sept. 4.

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