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On Nov. 25, a grand jury will consider a charge of torturing an animal causing death against Barton and Vernine Gipstein of Midland, in connection with an alleged puppy mill they operated in southern Fauquier County. 

Vernine Gipstein, 69, also faces a possession of marijuana charge. 

The Gipsteins each waived a preliminary hearing on Nov. 14 during brief appearance in Fauquier County General District Court. They are free on unsecured bonds. 

The Gipsteins were arrested after an anonymous tip prompted Fauquier County Animal Control deputies to investigate conditions at a site on Folly Court near the Stafford County line on Sept. 11. There they seized 80 dogs in poor condition and needing medical care and grooming. Some of the dogs were Wheaten terriers, but many were mixed breed.  

The dogs were placed with the Fauquier SPCA, which received an outpouring of donations from the public as a result. 

Attorney Ryan Huttar is representing Barton Gipstein, 75. T. Brooke Howard is representing Vernine Gipstein. 

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