You may have seen a story on the television news last week regarding the seizure of 150 dogs, mainly Jack Russell terriers and Shiba Inus, from a suspected puppy mill operation near Lake City, Mich.
Wednesday, 20 of those dogs will arrive at the Kent County Animal Shelter and will be available for adoption. And because of grants earlier this year from the Michigan Animal Welfare Fund and “George’s Fund,” KCAS will make available all the dogs for a $50 adoption fee, plus the $12 to license them. The adoption fee covers spay/neuter, vaccinations and microchipping. Check out the “How to Adopt” section on the KCAS website to make sure you’re prepared when you visit the facility.
Animal Shelter Program Supervisor Carly Luttmann said the dogs should be arriving sometime before noon on Wednesday. They’ve already been evaluated for behavior and medical issues and will be immediately available. The dogs will need to be spayed or neutered before being released from KCAS, but that process shouldn’t take more than a few days, Luttmann said.
The dogs were taken from two locations: JRT John’s Jack Russell and Shiba Inu Kennel, as a result of civil action prompted by violation of Michigan’s Dog Law. The Missaukee County Sheriff’s office and the Roscommon County Animal Shelter led the way and called on the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to help in the removal of the dogs.
The ASPCA said in a news release that the dogs were discovered living in outdoor enclosures with little protection from the elements. Many dogs had no access to clean drinking water or proper shelter, with plastic carriers being their only refuge from rain, snow or sun, the ASPCA said. Many of the dogs were unsocialized and fearful when handled by humans.
For that reason, Luttmann said those planning to adopt any of the dogs should realize that patience and training will be required. KCAS will offer information on Jack Russell and Shiba Inu breeds in addition to recommendations on training.
“We’re hoping people will come out (to KCAS) and help us find these dogs homes,” Luttmann said. “They lived in outdoor conditions at a puppy mill, so they might be shy at first and need training to adjust to their new lives. These Jack Russells are very smart, but they’re not all like the dog from ‘Fraiser.’ They will need training.”
Luttmann added that the dogs may need dental work, not entirely uncommon for smaller breeds and terriers older than 2 or 3 who have never had dental care.
If you’re interested in taking advantage of the $50 adoption special and giving one of these dogs (or any other dog at KCAS) a loving home, be sure to stop by the animal shelter Wednesday afternoon or later.
The rest of the dogs seized are being housed at various locations, the ASPCA release said. They’ve undergone medical examinations and those that are medically and behaviorally sound, like those headed to Kent County, will be immediately placed by Roscommon County Animal Shelter with ASPCA response partners. Those response partners also include Medina County SPCA (Medina, Ohio) and Animal Humane Society (Golden Valley, Minn.), which are also supporting the sheltering operation and will help provide daily care for the animals.
Aside from KCAS, other agencies in Michigan assisting the operation include Michigan Humane Society (Bingham Farms), Kalkaska County Animal Control (Kalkaska) and Clare County Animal Shelter (Harrison).
“This case has been years in the making and we felt strongly that something had to be done to protect these animals,” Missaukee County sheriff Jim Bosscher said in the ASPCA release. “The ASPCA’s resources and sheltering knowledge, combined with the support of the Roscommon County Animal Shelter, will finally allow these dogs the chance to have a happy life.”