Police now have four sickly dogs from the Tanis property under their supervision. Mr. Tanis is housing several other dogs including a lab named King. Why he has any dogs puzzles many. Mr. Tanis faced hundreds of previous animal mistreatment charges from a suspected puppy mill and pleaded guilty to only a few dog law violations years ago. He says the current dogs are owned by his 88-year-old mother Eleanor. He insists he's doing nothing wrong now with the dogs. "They're mainly companion dogs. They're not really... nobody is using them for hunting. We have some of them for training."
The Tanis property is within direct view of the Moosic Diner where there was no shortage of opinions about the animal controversy. "That's not right. It's not right," said waitress Siobahn Parker. She saw pictures of the underweight dogs and doesn't believe they just got sick. "There's no way. I've seen dogs, many dogs. There's no way. That's terrible." Waitress Barb Maxwell says she's witnessed some of the dogs under Mr. Tanis' care running loose. "It's been the last several months. They're always out in the street. They're loose," said Ms. Maxwell. "Something's got to give. He's got to get rid of them."
Mr. Tanis claims he is acting entirely within the law. "There's never been a court order prohibiting me from having dogs. And that should say something." Because the Tanis property is zoned commercial, it doesn't limit Mr. Tanis to housing only four dogs as is the case for residentially zoned properties in Moosic. Moosic police will only say their investigation surrounding Tanis and the dogs continues.