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May 14, 2014

Michigan Puppy Mill Rescue Saves Nearly 100 Dogs

  • Rescuers found large-breed dogs and puppies in substandard conditions. Pam Sordyl

  • The dogs had matted fur and untreated medical conditions. Pam Sordyl

Update June 3, 2014 – The owner of the suspected puppy mill pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and surrendered all dogs seized from the property. As a result, the dogs will be up for adoption in the coming weeks at the following shelters and rescues: Animal Placement Bureau, Capital Area Humane Society, Humane Society of Huron Valley, Livingston County Animal Control, Michigan Standard Poodle Rescue and Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America. Those interested in adopting should contact those organizations directly.


More than 90 dogs and puppies were rescued from a suspected Fowlerville, Michigan, puppy mill. Livingston County Animal Control became concerned about the welfare of the dogs after receiving multiple reports and visiting the property.

The Humane Society of the United States and local veterinarians assisted Livingston County Animal Control and Livingston County Sheriff’s Office with the rescue and removal of the dogs.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant on the property and found large-breed dogs and puppies, mainly poodle mixes, living in substandard conditions. Their fur was extremely matted and they were suffering from a multitude of untreated medical conditions, including dental and eye problems. These dogs were allegedly being sold online.

Rescuers also found multiple adult cats and at least two litters of kittens.

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Jill Fritz, Michigan senior state director for The HSUS, said, “It is heartbreaking to see these animals living in these conditions. If we had strong state laws regulating these large-scale dog breeding operations, we could put a stop to this unimaginable suffering. We're thankful to Livingston County Animal Control for taking action in this case and allowing us to help rescue these animals.”

There are currently no specific laws in Michigan to protect dogs in large-scale commercial breeding operations. However, SB 560, legislation to enact registration, licensing and standards for these facilities, is currently pending in the Michigan legislature.

Deb Oberle, director of Livingston County Animal Control said, “We are concerned about the overcrowding and the condition of the dogs on the property. We are thankful that The Humane Society of the United States was able to assist us in rescuing these animals and joining us in getting them the care they need.”

The animals were safely transported to a temporary shelter where they will be thoroughly examined by teams of veterinarians and receive any necessary immediate medical treatment.

The HSUS has established a reward program to offer up to $5,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of a puppy mill operator for animal cruelty. Persons wishing to report a valid tip are encouraged to call 1-877-MILL-TIP and will remain anonymous.

Your gift helps us take more suffering animals to safety and care.

**Photos available for media download upon request.

Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 240-672-8397; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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