Ann Arbor, MI (June 22, 2018) – 108 animals living in deplorable conditions at a Salem Township residence were rescued by the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) Wednesday morning. Animal Cruelty Investigators found 39 exotic cats with 20 kittens, 18 purebred dogs and 16 puppies, 14 chickens, and an African Grey parrot forced to live among piles of feces, slimy water bowls and even a food bowl full of maggots. Some were confined in a basement with no ventilation.

Self-described as “a hobby breeder,” the owner did not have a breeder or kennel license, nor were any of the animals licensed.

“When it’s all about money, unfortunately, animals often pay the price, living in unsanitary conditions without adequate medical care, nutritious food or anything that might decrease profit,” says Michele Baxter, HSHV’s Cruelty & Rescue Manager. “This individual was selling puppies and kittens from $1100 to $1800, so there was no excuse for their poor care.”

Many of the animals were found matted, underweight and suffering from a variety of health and behavioral issues. All of the animals are currently being treated and cared for by veterinary and other HSHV staff and volunteers.

“We are deeply grateful to the staff and volunteers who are showing these poor animals what real love is,” says Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV’s CEO. “And to the Good Samaritan who tipped us off about this situation. Like many breeders and sellers who advertise online, this one had the appearance of being a fine place to buy a puppy or kitten.  The reality was far different.  When folks don’t insist on seeing how all the animals, including the parents, are cared for, they don’t realize they may be contributing to animal cruelty.”

“We always encourage folks to first consider adoption from a reputable shelter such as HSHV–where we often have kittens, puppies, and purebred animals. But if you can’t find the companion you want here, be sure to find a caring breeder. Insist on seeing where the animals are being raised and nurtured. Never trust a website or a fancy ad alone. We’ve seen countless heartbroken people who’ve discovered they’ve inadvertently financed a puppy mill or bad breeder, and gotten a sick or under-socialized animal as a result,” says Hilgendorf.

Under Michigan Penal Code Act 328 of 1931 Section 750.50, failure to provide adequate care involving 10 or more animals constitutes a felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 4 years and/or a fine up to $5000 and/or community service for up to 500 hours, plus possibly being ordered to pay the costs of prosecution. Investigators will be seeking prosecution.

Due to this rescue and another recent rescue of 71 animals, the Humane Society of Huron Valley is bursting at the seams! While these animals need ongoing medical and supportive care and are not available for adoption, HSHV has hundreds who are. Please consider adopting a companion animal. As encouragement, HSHV is discounting adoption fees for a limited time—adult cats are FREE, kittens are adopt-one-get-one-FREE, and adult dogs’ adoption fees are 50% off. See photos and descriptions of available animals at www.hshv.org/adopt.

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 (hshv.org) and on our annual report (www.hshv.org/annualreport).

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