State Police were helping collect evidence.
Police were still trying to determine what caused the fight.
“They were arguing about something,” Nason said.
Mr. Tchernytchenko had been consuming wine, the chief said.
The couple have lived in Saranac Lake for a few years. Neither were employed, Nason said, but they also had a houseful of dogs.
The house, a two-story home located at 10 McClelland St., had 17 dogs that were removed by Lena Bombard, the animal-control officer and manager of Tri-Lakes Humane Society.
Before 2 p.m. Tuesday, she and caretakers from the animal shelter had taken five Akitas and 12 Yorkshire terriers into shelter care.
“Our Humane Society was requested to go assist with dogs. We, so far, have removed 17 dogs. ... They (police) are still working on the search warrant. We’re not sure about outbuildings,” Bombard said.
There is a garage on premises.
Nason said the house was not kept clean and organized enough for children or pets.
“Some rooms were covered with (animal feces); it was all over the floor and more than a couple inches deep,” he said.
Tri-Lakes Humane Society was having the dogs examined by a local veterinarian.
“We have to evaluate each animal separately,” Bombard said. “They’re perky dogs. They’re not all sickly. They need some baths. Even if they’re perky, it doesn’t mean they’re all OK. Some of the bigger dogs are not friendly.
“We have to learn to handle them as we go.”
She was not certain if the dogs were part of a breeding operation.
“It may have been. There were only two breeds. We have Akitas and Yorkshire terriers that we know of.”
For now, the 17 dogs join more than 20 already housed at the Tri-Lakes shelter, nearly doubling the population.