Published June 16, 2016
At least 75 dogs were rescued from a Michigan home over the course of two days after a neighbor complained of constant barking and a foul odor, authorities said.
The St. Clair County Sheriff's Animal Control Division initially responded Tuesday to the home in Cottrellville Township, about 50 miles northeast of Detroit. The homeowner let them into the house, where the county's animal control officer and two deputies found the dogs covered in urine and feces.
"I can't recall in the last almost 30 years, 75-plus dogs free roaming in the first floor of a house," St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon told WXYZ. "That's new for us."
The Times Herald of Port Huron reported that around 55 dogs were removed on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the animal control officer returned to the home to remove the remaining dogs, but was initially denied entry. Animal control officers and sheriff's deputies returned with a search warrant late Wednesday afternoon.
The dogs removed from the house include Norwegian buhunds and norrbottenspets, and Norwegian spets mixes.
Authorities initially said the residents of the house had moved to Michigan from Colorado in the home of breeding the dogs for sale. However, Donnellon said the residents were breeding, showing and rescuing the dogs, but were not selling them.
No charges have yet been filed in the case, though Donnellon said the investigation into what he called "inhumane" conditions was ongoing.
"I thought maybe they had 15 dogs and I'm shocked to learn now they had over 70,” saidn neighbor Greg Bosel, who made the initial complaint. "I just found out shortly ago and it's mind boggling. The home is not that big."
The Times Herald reported that some were taken to the county animal shelter. The Colorado-based Norwegian Buhund Club of America arranged temporary housing for others.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.