Hearing set for Webster Township man accused of keeping animals in unsanitary conditions
Photo courtesy of the Humane Society of Huron Valley
A court hearing has been scheduled next month for Donald Douglas Burkett, from whose Webster Township home dozens of animals were removed last year due to what the Humane Society of Huron Valley said were unsanitary conditions.
Burkett, 61, turned himself in to authorities within the last several days, Matt Schaecher, supervisor of cruelty and rescue at the humane society, told AnnArbor.com today. His preliminary hearing has been set for April 12.
Schaecher said 48 animals — nine birds, two cats and 37 dogs — were removed from the home of Donald Douglas Burkett and Kathe Elizabeth Tyson-Burkett, 61, June 17.
“The pens the dogs were living in were covered in feces,” there were “flies everywhere” and there was “no clean water for the dogs to drink,” Schaecher said. The animals also lacked proper veterinary care, he said.
Donald Douglas Burkett and Kathe Elizabeth Tyson-Burkett are each charged with one count of abandonment, cruelty to 10 or more animals and one count of possession of the controlled substance euthasol, court records show. Schaecher said euthasol is used to euthanize animals.
Warrants were issued for both of them March 1, court records show.
Humane Society of Huron Valley executive director Tanya Hilgendorf told AnnArbor.com in June that the animals were living among filth and feces in the home with two adults. She said the owners, who were present when investigators arrived, voluntarily signed over their rights to the animals.
Most of the dogs taken from the home were whippets, Schaecher said. There was also one skye terrier and two Italian greyhounds. An anonymous tip led to the removal of the animals from the home, he said.