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Posted on Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 3:26 p.m.

Humane Society takes 18 dogs from Ypsilanti Township home

By Tina Reed


This Dachshund was one of 18 dogs taken from an Ypsilanti Township home on Tuesday.

Courtesy | Huron Valley Humane Society

Local Humane Society officials took 18 dogs from an Ypsilanti Township home Tuesday after they discovered the dogs living in "cramped and filthy conditions" inside the home with a couple and their infant.

Humane Society of Huron Valley animal cruelty investigators received an anonymous call about a “foul smell” coming from the home and found 21 dogs of different breeds living there.

"The caller believed the home might have contained deceased animals,” Matt Schaecher, lead cruelty investigator, said in a release. “Some of the dogs were dehydrated, and several were pregnant. Three dogs were allowed to stay with the family but the other 18 have been brought to (the Humane Society of Huron Valley)."

The residents cooperated with investigators, and no criminal charges are anticipated at this point, said Deb Kern, a spokeswoman for the Humane Society. None of the dogs had to be euthanized.

The home has since been condemned, and child protective services will be investigating the situation, officials said.

“This is a reminder of the many ways in which animal cruelty and child abuse and neglect intersect," Tanya Hilgendorf, executive director, said in a statement. "The parents in this situation chose to have this many animals in their home but clearly could not manage their care. As such, the conditions of the home became a health threat to everyone living there, but particularly to the infant.”

The dogs included Yorkshire terrier mixes, Shih Tzu mixes, Basset Hounds, Dachshund mixes and a few Chihuahuas, including one that gave birth to three puppies Tuesday evening, officials said. A Great Dane was also among the dogs and is being treated for what looks like hip dysplasia, the release said.

The dogs are in pretty good condition considering they were living in such bad conditions, Kern said.

Many of the dogs will be available for adoption by Friday or Saturday. They'll have a full medical review, vaccinations and will be spayed or neutered before they go to a new home. Some of the dogs will need to go to experienced dog owners because they have not been given proper training or care, the Humane Society said in a release.

To learn more about the dogs or how to adopt, call the Humane Society at 734-662-5585 or visit its website at The adoption center, 3100 Cherry Hill Road, is open from noon to 6 p.m. daily.

Tina Reed is a reporter for She can be reached at 734-623-2535 or by emailing her at



Fri, Jun 4, 2010 : 6:36 p.m.

Where did this happen? I mean to say, what neighborhood? I live in Ypsi. Where'd it happen? West Willow? MacArthur? Paint Creek? Why don't you guys even answer the basic journalism questions any more?


Fri, Jun 4, 2010 : 12:14 p.m.

Being an experienced dog owner, you can always see the correlation between dog neglect and child neglect. This includes home ownership as well. I am very concerned about the children and the dogs left behind. CPS will have to deal with whether or not to take the children out of the home and HS will have to deal with a life long conscience if something happens to the three left behind.


Fri, Jun 4, 2010 : 5:49 a.m.

I am confused- if the home is condemed then where did the family go with the baby and three dogs! All dogs should have been taken and the child too. How can one choose what dog is saved and what dog is left with a family that clearly have issues. This couple needs to get themselves together before they have the child or dogs in the home again. I can understand loving your pets, because I love my dogs but if I couldn't maintain my home and family then I need to the right thing for the dogs!!! I pray someone looks in on the baby soon!!

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 5:49 p.m.

Something like this pretty much happens every day somewhere it seems. Usually I see stories about an elderly person (who's probably lost touch with reality due to mental illness) who has 100 severely neglected cats or something. Sometimes the building has to be condemned because bacteria, mold, and other contaminants have permeated the structure of the building to the point where they can't cost effectively be removed. Ultimately I guess all you can do is try to keep everyone in your community engaged but it's not always possible because some people refused to be engaged with anyone around them.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 4:58 p.m.

I always feel sorry for everyone involved in these kinds of situations. No one has 18 dogs (or 21 dogs since 3 were left with the family) without having some kind of mental illness, unless they are a breeder or something. Hopefully this family can get the help they obviously need. That doesn't necessarily mean taking the children out of the home. Most likely a solution can be found which will allow the child to stay with his/her parents.

Elizabeth Nelson

Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 4:20 p.m.

Reading between the lines, note that the dogs were taken away, but it sounds like children were left behind. This happens all the time-- i.e. it's quick and easy to remove an animal from a home situation like this but there's always a procedural delay in addressing concerns about the children. I hope the CPS investigation is quick AND thorough... but part of me wishes that there could be a 'presumption of neglect' re: children when there's glaring evidence of neglect re: animals.


Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 3:43 p.m.

Good luck to those dogs, especially the ones left behind.

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Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 3:34 p.m.

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