Dustin Steinhoff, News Editor

Local

Love ‘N’ Care Pet Farm, a popular pet farm in St. Charles County known for their selection of exotic breeds of puppies, is being shut down for the poor living conditions of their animals as well as possible instances of abuse from a groomer.

The pet farm was found to be housing over 100 dogs in filthy conditions, eating food containing mold and suffering instances of animal abuse from a groomer.

In a quote St. Charles County Department of Public Health member Hope Woodson provided to KSDK, a number of the puppies’ kennels had water leaking into them. Woodson also observed electrical outlets underneath some of the spots where the water was leaking.

Additional violations noted included a lack of required smoke alarms, expired medications and dirty syringes being found. According to county reports, their records were not organized properly resulting in the pet farm being unable to provide vaccination reports, medication prescriptions and additional health visits.

Michele Hogarth-Dove, a groomer at Love ‘N’ Care, was observed by officers grabbing a dog from its cage and holding it by its legs and could be facing additional charges. Animal control officers discovered Hogarth-Dove had previously been charged in Lincoln County with two counts of animal abuse and six counts of animal neglect or abandonment in November.

The facility was cleared out Jan. 4 following the building and code violations that were found. According to the business’ Facebook account, all of the dogs being held at the facility are being kept at the owners’ personal homes or with friends and family members.

St. Charles County animal control officers are currently continuing to investigate the reports they have received. St. Charles County gave the owners of Love ‘N’ Care Pet Farm a deadline of Jan. 28 to get their operations into compliance.

 

National

BuzzFeed News published an article Jan. 17 reporting that President Donald Trump told Michael Cohen, his longtime attorney, to lie to Congress about a deal he was working on to build a Moscow Trump Tower. BuzzFeed News cited their information came from “two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.” However, special counsel Robert Mueller’s office disputed that the BuzzFeed News article as “not accurate.”

“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” said Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller’s office, in a statement.

However, Buzzfeed remains in support of their journalists and their reporting. “We are continuing to report and determine what the special counsel is disputing. We remain confident in the accuracy of our report,” Buzzfeed said in their response.

While the findings in Buzzfeed News’ report are not the first to suggest Trump has attempted to obstruct government investigations into Russia’s interferences with the 2016 election, this would be the first known instance of Trump directly instructing someone to lie about his Russian affairs if it were proven to be true.

According to BuzzFeed News’ sources, Cohen told the special council that following the 2016 presidential election, Trump personally ordered Cohen to try and obscure his involvement by lying to Congress and telling them Trump’s negotiations with Moscow came to an end several months earlier than they actually did.

In November, Cohen admitted to lying about Trump’s Russian deal via testimony and a two-page written statement to the Senate and House intelligence committees. However, it was unknown until now that Trump directed Cohen to do so.

According to Buzzfeed News, Cohen also set up a plan for Trump to make a visit to Russia during his campaign in order to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in person and get negotiations towards building the Moscow Trump Tower in motion. Trump was reportedly in support of Cohen’s idea, telling Cohen to, “Make it happen.”

 

International

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to exit the European Union (commonly referred to as “Brexit”) was overwhelmingly defeated by British lawmakers Jan. 17.

Britain is still planning to exit the EU March 29, whether a plan is agreed upon or not. However, without an agreement in place, many believe the departure could result in European border disputes as well as economic damage.

The British Parliament’s vote resulted in 202 in support of May’s plan and 432 in opposition to it. This is the largest defeat that has been dealt to a sitting government in history. Of the 432 votes against the plan, 118 were from May’s own political party, the Conservative Party.

Members of Parliament have a number of varying viewpoints on the Brexit debate. Some are in favor of May’s more conservative version of the plan while some seek further referendum, want to refrain from exiting the EU or want to leave the EU without a deal in place.

May has been working on this deal with the EU over the past two years.

“The house has spoken and the government will listen. It is clear that the house does not support this deal,” May stated. “But tonight’s vote tells us nothing about what it does support.”

The failure of May’s plan in Parliament could be a big hit to her reelection chances as well as the Conservative Party. Her opposition, the Labour Party, has began using the deal’s failure as proof of the current government’s inability to accomplish their task.

“I have now tabled a motion of no confidence in this government,” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said. “And I’m pleased – I’m pleased that motion will be debated tomorrow so this house can give its verdict on the sheer incompetence of this government.”