One of the dogs seized Friday, seen at the Winnipeg Humane Society, had its matted and feces-knotted fur shaved down. ((Megan Benedictson/CBC))

A rural Manitoba couple has been slapped with 19 charges after 64 dogs were seized from their property last summer.

The Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer (CFO) announced Friday that Peter and Judith Chernecki have been charged under the Animal Care Act, following an investigation in July 2010.

The investigation found the dogs had been confined to an area with unsanitary conditions and inadequate space and ventilation. As well, the dogs weren't getting adequate exercise, which "significantly impaired their health and well-being."

The charges relate to the reasons for the distress and alleged failure to provide adequate medical attention when animals were wounded or ill, stated a news release from the CFO.


Peter Chernecki said he and his wife were helping animals abandoned at the local landfill. (CBC)

The original media reports at the time the animals were seized stated 61 dogs were taken from the property, about 90 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

The CFO stated on Friday the total was 64.

Many were coated in filth and staff at the Winnipeg Humane Society worked through the weekend caring for them, the society's chief executive, Bill McDonald, said at the time.

Six were euthanized for various reasons, some for injuries believed to have been caused by fighting, he said.

McDonald called it one of the largest cases of neglect the humane society has ever seen.

But Peter Chernecki told CBC News in July that he and his wife were only trying to help out stray animals abandoned at the local landfill. He denied they were neglected.

The Cherneckis are scheduled to appear in provincial court in Winnipeg on March 3.