By Cheryl Fiandaca

OXFORD (CBS) – Empty cages are all that’s left at Laughlin Kennel. The Oxford animal control officer told the I-Team all the dogs are gone. The shutdown comes after a legal battle over a zoning dispute with the town.

Laughlin Kennel is no stranger to controversy. Over the years, the I-Team reported on conditions at the dog kennel. WBZ found that the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture fined the kennel thousands of dollars for serious violations.

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Laughlin Kennel in Oxford (WBZ-TV)

Last November, the I-Team uncovered state records that showed puppies stacked in metal cages that were too small, some had no water and the temperature inside the kennel was 86 degrees.

For those violation, and other complaints that included allegedly selling sick dogs, the state fined the kennel owner, Robert Fink, more than $8,000.

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Laughlin has also been the subject of several protests by animal rights activists.

In a 2016 I-Team report, a former employee blew the whistle on conditions in the kennel. In 2017, the Humane Society of The United States named Laughlin one of its Horrible Hundred Puppy Dealers.

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In the past, Fink told the I-Team the allegations weren’t true and any violations found by state inspectors were corrected. We made several attempts to reach Fink for this story but he has not responded to our messages.

Cheryl Fiandaca