Late last week, Julie Kowal of the Allegan County Animal Shelter in Allegan, Mich., was told to expect 60 small breed dogs at the facility Monday morning.
But when Kowal accompanied animal control officers to a residence in Cheshire Township, Michigan, she never expected what she would find there.
As the group began removing the small dogs from the property, the number of dogs kept on growing. “Then it was ‘a dozen more’ and ‘another dozen more,’” Kowal told the press. “The dogs just kept coming and coming and coming,” she explained.
By the end of the day, nearly 350 dogs, 12 cats, and 2 birds had been confiscated from the two-bedroom home.
The homeowners ran their breeding operation from the tiny 500-square-foot home, selling puppies on Craigslist to willing buyers.
A woman who had purchased two puppies from the Cheshire Township operation was so disturbed by her experience that she reported the incident to animal control earlier last week, days before the raid.
The dogs, most of them Shih Tzu and Pomeranian mixes, arrived at the shelter in bad shape, covered in dirt, urine, faeces, and matted coats. Many also have dental issues due to lack of care and poor nutrition.
Pam Sordyl of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan calls this breeding operation the worst of the 30 or more she has tracked. “This is the largest kennel I’ve ever seen in Michigan,” Sordyl remarked.
The dogs are currently being housed at the Allegan County Animal Shelter and will soon be looking for forever homes. In the meantime a Facebook page has been created to help volunteer efforts, along with a donation page