Nearly 100 dogs were rescued from deplorable living conditions in a Detroit home on Tuesday. Tulsa World reports that a neighbor complained about the smell and noise coming from the house, which led authorities to investigate.
In all, there were exactly 98 dogs and three cats removed from a house located in Cottrellville Township. A couple was believed to be breeding, showing, and rescuing dogs, according to St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon. Most of the animals consisted of Norwegian Buhunds, Norrbottenspets and Norwegian Spets mixes. Deputies found them covered in feces and urine. The good news is they were declared in overall good physical condition by the sheriff’s office.
“I think somewhere along the line, things got out of control,” Donnellon told WJBK-TV.
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Officers arrived at the couple’s home after their neighbor called about the horrible “stench” coming from the residence. They also reported the loud barking that constantly disrupted the neighborhood.
Twenty-two dogs were rescued in the beginning by Animal Control officers when the homeowners allowed deputies inside. The homeowners turned over another 23 dogs to a Colorado-based Norwegian Buhund rescue group. The organization found temporary housing across Michigan for the dogs. Additionally, the former owners surrendered nine more dogs to the St. Clair County Humane Society.
Neighbor Greg Bosel said that the smell was so horrible, no one could enjoy sitting outside if the wind was blowing in the “wrong direction.”
“On Wednesday, deputies and the Animal Control officer returned to remove the remaining dogs,” the sheriff’s office said Thursday in a release. “This time, a search warrant had to be served to enter the home, as the residents refused to cooperate.”
Animal Control removed 38 dogs and three cats Wednesday. Six other dogs had been given to another humane society.
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Cottrellville Township authorities are considering charging the pet owners with possible code violations and the St. Clair County Health Department is investigating possible health code violations. It’s also noted that the St. Clair County prosecutor’s office may criminal charges against the animal owners.
Sheriff Donnellon said the this is one of the worst animal hoarding cases he’s come across.
“I can’t recall in the last almost 30 years, 75 plus dogs free roaming in the first floor of a house, that’s new for us,” Donnellon told WXYZ-7 News.
The report describes the couple as a 56-year-old woman and 66-year-old man who bred, showed, and saved dogs. Instead, authorities entered the home to find dogs living in filthy conditions.
Click On Detroit reports that the couple was originally from Colorado, but moved to Michigan in the hopes of breeding and selling the dogs. At some point, however, they lost control of everything and conditions inside their home became unsanitary.
Bosel was shocked to learn that there so many dogs inside the Detroit home. He figured there were maybe 15, but couldn’t believe they had over 70 of them.
“I just found out shortly ago and it’s mind boggling. The home is not that big,” Bosel said.
As Sheriff Donnellon pointed out, the appalling conditions that the dogs were found in isn’t safe for anyone. It’s unsafe for the dogs and unsafe for occupants of the home.
According to the report, none of the dogs are available for adoption because this a criminal case, but they’re all in a safe place and getting adequate care. Caregivers are cleaning up the animals and giving them a nice place to stay after enduring their share of suffering in squalor.
Voice News reports that the 100 rescued dogs are being evaluated for adoption in the midst of the investigation.
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