HIGGANUM, Conn. (WTNH) – A man in Higganum was charged with 20 counts of animal cruelty last week, and had 28 German Shepherd dogs removed from his care.

On Thursday, Attorney General William Tong announced he is pushing for state custody of those dogs.

Police arrested Deane Moore, 32, of Higganum back in April. Police stated they were investigating Moore for animal cruelty charges after Moore left for an overseas vacation, and the hired dog sitter reported the neglectful conditions the dogs were living in.

Deane Moore, who was arrested on 20 counts of cruelty to animals (Photo courtesy of Connecticut State Troopers)

Moore is currently accused of leaving 23 dogs to the caretaker while he was away, most of which were newborn puppies.

The dogs were in unsanitary and unprotected conditions, resulting in six puppies dying, according to officials.

They said the petition for state custody of the remaining dogs has been filed on behalf of the State Department of Agriculture.