Man, Woman to Face Charges in Grand Traverse County Animal Hoarding Case

The two people accused of animal neglect in Grand Traverse County will soon be charged for the crimes, and possibly more.

Northern Michigan’s News Leader got a copy of court documents that show Lacie and Joseph Plowman are the owners of the home where the animals were found.

We have brought you live to the scene every day since Monday on Voice Road near Paradise Road in Paradise Township.

The prosecutor authorized charges against the couple, a four-year felony of animal neglect and abuse.

It started Monday morning when state police were called to the home after a neighbor called about loose and barking dogs.

They have now rescued more than 30 cats and dogs from what investigators describe as deplorable conditions.

Crews have been in and out of the house all day rescuing now 32 dogs and cats and, unfortunately, two dogs and two cats that didn’t make it.

But we did also learn that a child could also be involved.

Investigators are still trying to determine if and how often the homeowners lived here.

“There was a discrepancy in the evidence about how often and whether they were living in the home,” said Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney.

Court documents show Lacie Plowman admitted to living at the home, but Joseph said they were primarily living with family in Benzie County, both admitting to owning all of the animals.

“There was also an 8-year-old female who was living in the home at the time. The Department of Health and Human Services has been contacted,” explained Cooney. “Obviously, we are very concerned about that and so we will be following up with it.”

Neighbors nearby say they feel terrible living so close and not knowing what was happening.

“I was so shocked. We don’t hardly see any activity over there from people, let alone animals. I’ve never seen animals outside over there never heard animals,” said neighbor Molly Klesmeyer.

Court documents show Joseph Plowman said he would check on the animals every two to three days and the situation spiraled out of control.

Animal control says they will continue to check the house for any more cats and dogs that may have been left behind.

The rescued dogs and cats are all now recovering at the Cherryland Humane Society. They were at capacity before this happened.

But through this difficult time, they said they have been overwhelmed by the support from the community.

Cars have been lining up all day waiting to bring in supplies.

“It just reaffirms what an amazing community we live in. This is now my third year and I’ve always said it, but today it’s almost like you have to step back and look at how blessed we are, even in such an unfortunate situation,” said Heidi Yates, Cherryland Humane Society executive director.

There are still some supplies they are asking for: blankets, grain free dog food, dry and wet kitten food, no clump kitty litter and flea and tick medicine.

You can also give them a call to find out other ways you can help or volunteer.

Just a reminder: None of the pets are available for adoption yet.

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