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Posted on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 9:56 a.m.

Ypsilanti Township officials condemn house extensively damaged by dog feces and urine

By Tom Perkins

Ypsilanti Township officials have condemned a home where they discovered the interior was covered in dog feces and saturated in dog urine.

Officials also found a 20-year old man living at the address with dog feces on his body and no utility connections in the house.


The kitchen of the home on Redleaf, where the owner's son was living with five dogs.

From Ypsilanti Township

At their meeting on Monday, the Board of Trustees authorized staff to take legal action if the home’s owner doesn’t address a long list of issues at the property.

Building inspectors were alerted to the home at 1200 Red Leaf Lane by neighbors who complained about the stench.

Inspectors previously condemned the house twice for similar problems. But a woman who lived at the house caused the issues in the previous cases.

This time, building inspectors found she had moved out and her 20-year-old son was living at the address. Ron Fulton, director of the building department, said inspectors knocked on the door March 19, and the man who answered had dog feces on his body.

A 76-page notice of violation presented to the homeowner and shown to Board of Trustees at the meeting included photographs of the home that gave a visual account of the conditions, described as horrendous. It included pictures of handprints made with feces on the walls.

The man had five dogs living at the address, Fulton said, and the saturation of urine in the floor and drywall has caused extensive damage.

Fulton said the township is asking the mother who owns the home to fix or demolish it, but he said it is unlikely it can be brought up to code and probably will have to be demolished.

“It is so saturated with dog urine that the floors are warped because of excessive moisture,” Fulton said. “The subfloor and joists have deteriorated to such a point that the house is probably not salvageable.”

He said the owner wanted to give the house to Habitat For Humanity, but Habitat officials said they wouldn’t take it because “free is not cheap enough.”

Fulton said didn’t know the status of the man who was living there, but the house is no longer occupied.

The Humane Society was brought in to inspect the home and subsequently confiscated the five dogs.

If the homeowner is unable to demolish the house, the township could pay for demolition and put a lien on the property.

County records show the home is owned by Phyllis Meggison. Assessments estimate the market value at $60,000.

Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter for For more Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township stories, visit our Ypsilanti page.



Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 4:24 a.m.

As a near by neighbor, I am happy this house is condemned. There were people coming in and out of this house constantly for drugs and who knows what else. I can't believe with the amount of people that were in that house it took this long for something to happen.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 12:31 p.m.

Seems a trip to the Board of Review would have been in order. You would have to pay Habitat to take the property, yet the Township figures the place is worth $60,000? The stink issue had been going on for who knows how long, yet the Township doesn't look at the place for health reasons. If animals were suffering cruelty, wouldn't the animal police have been all over this case before now? There's got to be more to the story than this. Why has this been allowed to continue without intervention? That's the real story here........

donald kenworthy

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

there is no need for all this its riact diculous for them to have posted this up hear with her name and address there were so many circumstances that have happened and this is not right the county needs to find out all the facts before they let somethin like this be posted its ridiculous that they let this be posted just july they let this house pass so whats that tell you they have comndemned the house before and it gets brought up to code and they let it g on and they put it on here that man is mentally ill but he is a great man he was there takin care of them dogs and she didnt just abandon them they were stayin at other places til the power was back on and the house gunna be finished again like it always is


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

I am REALLY NOT trying to be critical here but I stopped trying to read your comment. Had you used some punctuation perhaps I would have been able to understand what you were trying to convey but as it is, I found it more work than I cared to put into the effort. Just some friendly advice for next time, hope it does not offend you.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 10:09 p.m.

Mr Perkins - some clarification please - what does "Inspectors previously condemned the house twice for similar problems. But a woman who lived at the house caused the issues in the previous cases." mean exactly? Also - while I normally appreciate you expertise with the camera you could have skipped it this time.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

"Free is not cheap enough" just means that it would cost more to repair than to start from scratch. It is not an indictment, but a fact that a financially responsible organization has to take into account. They can't take houses that are not salvageable (and then take on the liability of demolishing the building themselves).


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

Exactly, Seems like the owner is trying to be charitable or do anyone a favor. She is just trying to find a way to unload this problem onto someone else so she doesn't have to pay to deal with it and call it charity. I think the response by HH was appropriate in that regard.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 7:59 p.m.

There is property that the house sits on...that must have some value...


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

How does a house get condemned more than once. Condemn it, order it torn down.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 8:26 p.m.

Ann Arbor does not tear down homes unless the denizens complain. Ypsi and Detroit? Tear them down once known. Ann Arbor needs to have the home torn down once the court matter is settled. Then lets get on with other biz.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 7:12 p.m.

I would suggest sadly this young man needs some help. There is a human aspect to this thing also, his mother likely did not raise him in the proper human ways. Someone make an attempt to give this young man some guidance, please.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

Can someone please help me understand the 60k market value?

Jimmy McNulty

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 11:11 p.m.

*****That should read "close to 50% of its fair market value."


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

The assessor does not inspect individual homes. They make valuations based on the neighborhood. $60k is probably the prevailing value in the area.

Jimmy McNulty

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

The taxable value of your property (on record at should be fairly close to % of its fair market value. So, if the property has a FMV of 60K, its taxable value should be 30K.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

"He said the owner wanted to give the house to Habitat For Humanity, but Habitat officials said they wouldn't take it because "free is not cheap enough."" I think in this case, should exercise discretion and sensitivity and not quote HfH's comment verbatin. The owner and son do not deserve this kind of exposure. The situation is bad enough as it is.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

I think the quote aptly conveys the point that this house is trashed -- plus it is the only touch of humor in the entire article.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

Apparently it will take "this kind of exposure" to ensure that something is done! What about the rest of society, especially those living in close proximity? Dog waste only smells a lot worse when heated by warmer weather..........

Tim Anderson

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 4:59 p.m.

It's a sad sitch for all.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 4:13 p.m.

So what happened to the guy that was hanging out in the house covered in dog poop ? Inquiring minds want to know.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 10:47 p.m.

This blog doesn't always get the concept of human interest stories -

dading dont delete me bro

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

there is a fb page


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

There can hardly be a doubt that mental illness is the cause for this situation. Choices that most of us are able to make are not the case for those with severe mental impairment. Glad that the Humane Society stepped in and removed the affected dogs. I certainly hope that some agency or group that specializes in this 20 year old's problem will find the time to offer the treatment necessary for his survival in a complicated environment.

CareyLynn Flaugher

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

This house should have been condemned years ago. It is in pretty bad shape.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

Can someone please explain to me why there is so much concern for the dogs and so little concern for the 20 year old man. Can any of you imagine the mental illness that makes those living conditions ok. It would be wonderful if there were a "Humane Society" type of organization that took care of humans. The dogs will be well cared for, but the human will be left to take care of himself...even though it is obvious that he cannot.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 3:35 p.m.

Good question


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

Everyone should take a hop over to the ASPCA website. There you will see a raid for 90 plus dogs or so. These animals had no choice but to live in squalor and limited living space. Yes, the man had mental disease. But if the family knew of this? Then they should have put a stop to this. Take a look at the man from Detroit who had 150 dogs living there. Family didn't care about him and yet this happened. House is gone, dogs are in a safe place now and so is he. Dogs do not have a choice who adopt them, but the HS and ASPCA does. It is tax payer money to get these poor things in to better conditions. Yes, I agree, the human needs help, but not at the expense of others who have to save them. I really hope he gets help and the animals find better living conditions.

Sarah Parviz

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

We DID, Regan got rid of them all in the 1980's.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 7:12 p.m.

In response to rosy12: A person living with a mental illness is unable to make the same choices that those of us who don't are able to. This man obviously was unable to care for himself and was left alone. We should have compassion for the dogs, yes, but we should also be concerned about the human in this case. Thank you for bringing that up nyrdreems.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

What on earth are you talking about? There are literally hundreds if not thousands of "'humane society' type[s] of organizations that [take] care of humans."


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 3 p.m.

The human had a choice to live there - mental illness or not. Apparently he didn't mind living there. The dogs had no choice. They didn't have mental illness - they had to suffer full-on and I'm sure they did mind. If they were put in these conditions makes you wonder if they were fed & watered and exercised properly. Its call NEGLECT and ABUSE. Hope this helps to explain.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

I understand why Habitat for Humanity wouldn't want the property, but I think their comment is unnecessarily insensitive and rude. The family could be suffering from any number of issues, including mental illness, underemployment, whatever ... their officials could have simply stated their policy on not accepting donations of homes needing a certain amount of repair. Before I'm attacked, no, I do not consider mental illness or unemployment to be an excuse for neglecting animals. I'm simply surprised that an organization dedicated to helping people in need would make such a snarky comment.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 11:38 p.m.

I agree that Habitat's stores overprice everything and it could often be purchased new for the same or less money but I believe part of the idea is people will pay it because it goes for a good cause. As for their comment, who cares! People feel they need to sugar coat everything these days. Call a spade a spade, our over sensitive political correct enviroment is creating a bunch of pansies people! Grow up and put your big boy pants on America!!


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 8:15 p.m.

lisam? Same thing over off Jackson road. The stuff they sell is top dollar and some I wonder where they got it from. As for the comment? Take it as it is, they can't use the house and the house will need to be torn down once the courts have their day with the family. Just like the guy in Detroit who had all those dogs? House was torn down last year. Court ordered. Same with this one too.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

I agree with Chimay that HH's response was snarky. It was an inappropriate response for a business entity, let alone a charity, to make.

Jimmy McNulty

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 7:12 p.m.

I found nothing wrong with Habitat's comment. That particular condemned property is just a huge bill for them. They probably have a better ROI lined up on other projects than this potential money pit.

Mike S

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

Can you imagine trying to get volunteers to work on *this* particular house? I was amused by HH's comment; there's probably some frustration involved as being a dumping ground for irreparable situations.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

When the plural "officials" is used for this comment of free is not cheap enough, I wonder about the statement coming from more than a single individual? I support Habitat for Humanity and I would bet that one person without thinking before speaking made such a rude and less than tactful statement.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

I just read their reply. It angers me a little bit on the "cheap" comment. I went to their store in Brighton and I couldn't believe a dining set that was donated to them, they put top dollar on it. You could have bought a new set at Art Van for less. I will never support them. Their comments don't surprise me one bit.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

Handprints in the feces....GROSS! I have a story regarding a guy in my college dorm who did that in the hallway...but I'll save it for another time.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 2:04 p.m.

Thank goodness the Humane Society got the dogs out of that terrible place!