Dogs seized in West Bloomfield, Ferndale

Animals allegedly kept in home with mold, water leaks

By: Tiffany Esshaki | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published March 29, 2019

 Thirty-three dogs in Roseville and nine in West Bloomfield, including Drew, right, and Chunky,  left, were removed by authorities following concern over the animals’ well-being  while in the care of a woman who said she was running an animal shelter.

Thirty-three dogs in Roseville and nine in West Bloomfield, including Drew, right, and Chunky, left, were removed by authorities following concern over the animals’ well-being while in the care of a woman who said she was running an animal shelter.

Photo provided by Bill Mullan, of the Oakland County Executive’s Office

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Just days after police seized 33 dogs from a property in Roseville, Oakland County Animal Control officers recovered 11 dogs in their jurisdiction.

Animal control officers responded to Aaron Moische Cemetery, on Little Mack Avenue, near Masonic Boulevard, in Roseville March 16 after a passerby reported seeing potentially unsafe conditions for dogs seen on-site.

Officers found 43 dogs housed in various types of cages in a garage adjacent to a house on cemetery property. The dogs reportedly needed immediate attention for health and sanitation concerns. Thirty-three were ultimately seized.

Roseville police said the dogs had only recently been moved to the cemetery from a home in West Bloomfield, which prompted a check of that property, located in the 5300 block of Hauser Way. Nine animals were taken from that home after an investigation, and two more were taken from a home in Ferndale.

Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center Manager Bob Gatt said both groups of dogs were linked to a 51-year-old woman who claimed to be running a rescue in the garage of the Roseville cemetery, though it appeared to be a temporary setup. The woman, whose identity has not been released pending potential charges, was allegedly residing in the home adjacent to the garage, according to Roseville police. She was cited under Roseville city ordinance for keeping unlicensed kennels.

A press release from the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center states that the woman also allegedly resides at the West Bloomfield address, though she does not own the home.

“The home the animals were in had some issues, such as mold problems and water leaks, which made the house unsafe for animals,” Gatt said. “As far as the animals themselves, they were in crates, and there was no problem with their well-being. The owner surrendered ownership of the animals over to us.”

Roseville police and Macomb County Animal Control are undertaking the same process as the Oakland County Animal Shelter: examine the scene and, of course, the dogs and determine if any laws were broken.

“We have the animals here, and our veterinary staff are giving them each a very thorough examination,” Gatt said. “We want to make sure there was no abuse or neglect in this matter. It’s too early to say what will happen to the animals. Our investigation is not complete yet. If there was no criminal activity involved, they would be available for adoption.”

Joanie Toole, chief of the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center, said in-house veterinarians were still running tests as of late last week.

“At this point, it’s still too early to determine,” she said.

At press time, it was unknown if the unnamed rescue was licensed, though Michigan law does not require a license to operate an animal rescue. There are no ordinances in West Bloomfield Township’s municipal code pertaining to the number of dogs allowed to be kept on private property.

Staff Writer Brendan Losinski contributed to this report.

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