Ann Arbor, MI (January 12, 2018) – Twenty animals living in squalor in Ypsilanti Township were rescued by the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) Wednesday, January 3. Among the remains of at least five deceased chickens were 12 live hens, two roosters, four ducks and two goats—many of whom were starving, and all of whom were living among several inches of feces.

“Fortunately for the animals, a Good Samaritan called us,” says Naomi Smith, Cruelty Investigator at HSHV. “It’s not an easy area to see, but once you do see the animals and the conditions in which they’ve been forced to live, you know there’s something very wrong.”
Most of the animals were found in the filthy shack; others were found hunkering under a small, makeshift A-frame.
“There was no food anywhere,” says Smith. “And the only water bowl available had a layer of ice on it, in addition to the two ducks who were crowded into it. The others were standing in several inches of frozen feces, decomposing chickens, ice and snow. With the single digit temperatures lately, we were really concerned with how they were keeping warm.”
Michigan Penal Code Section 750.50 requires owners to provide their animals with adequate care and shelter, with sufficient food and water among sanitary conditions free from excessive animal waste. Failure to do this carries a penalty of imprisonment for up to 93 days, a fine of up to $1,000, and/or community service of up to 200 hours.
The owner, who may have been breeding the animals to sell their offspring, surrendered the animals to HSHV, where they’re receiving medical care and nutritional supplementation.Chickens in a filthy coop, before they were rescued by HSHV
“They were very happy to get food,” says Smith. “And continue to be. Most have recovered and have been made available for adoption to people who will care for them properly.”

Chickens in a coop full of feces

About The Humane Society of Huron Valley:
The Humane Society of Huron Valley, located in Ann Arbor, is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies solely on the generosity of our supporters to provide critical community programs and services. HSHV is an award-winning organization, recognized for our best practices and highest animal “save-rate” among all similar shelters in Michigan. Charity Navigator, the nation’s top charity evaluator, awarded HSHV a 4-star ranking, the highest possible. The mission of HSHV is to promote the loving, responsible care of all animals in our community. HSHV is not affiliated with any other humane organization and does not receive funding from the United Way. More information can be found on HSHV’s website ( and on our annual report (