On Friday, during blight enforcement at a home on Supply Road in East Bay Township, the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Department and assisting agencies found more than 100 dogs after the homeowner didn’t follow a junk ordinance.
“The ordinance violation was for junk or blight that was for the unregistered and licensed inoperable vehicles, campers trailers that were on the property,” said Beth Friend, East Bay Township Supervisor. “The cars were loaded with just random junk.”
Clean-up crews say they found more than 40 cars, trailers and campers, and about 40 more dogs outside when removing vehicles from the property.
“We found deceased canines and other alive canines that were not in a good atmosphere didn’t have food, didn’t have water, paws were frozen and couldn’t stand completely,” said Friend.
The township had been trying to get the property cleaned up for years.
Recently, a court order was issued to force the homeowner to start cleaning up. But that didn’t happen, forcing the township to take further action leading to Friday’s discovery.
“It was an extreme case of what you would consider a hoarding case with junk debris and canines in cages,” said Friend.
The township was aware there were animals on the property, so animal control was on call.
Preston Taylor, Zoning Administrator for East Bay Township, says it exceeded what they thought it was going to be.
For the neighbors, it’s a sense of relief.
“Dogs were barking 24/7, no sleep, 3 a.m. call the deputies, they’re trying. This has been going on for 20 years,” said Curtis Keiser, a neighbor.
“I am so thankful to the neighboring residents who worked with us tirelessly to get this to completion,” said Friend.
All of the dogs were removed with the help of Animal Control from Grand Traverse, Clare, Wexford and Kalkaska Counties. A number of them will need serious care.
“That’s a tremendous number of an influx of animals, for those humane societies and animal control agencies,” said Friend.
East Bay Township says the home is being condemned. The homeowner is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday.
You can help out the dogs rescued from the home.
The says they’re currently in need of extra-large puppy pads, surgical gloves and gowns.
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