Dogs Rescued from MI Puppy Mill Are Ready for Loving Homes after Months of Medical Care

February 16, 2016

UPDATE: We are excited to share that after months of medical care, 50 dogs rescued from a puppy mill in Mio, Michigan, in December are ready to find loving homes. The ASPCA rescued the dogs alongside the Oscoda County Sheriff’s Department following complaints of abuse and neglect at the facility, and the owners of the puppy mill pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges last week.

Over the past two months, the dogs—including Schnauzers and Bulldogs ranging in age from a few months to 10 years—have received medical treatment and behavioral assessments to prepare them for adoption.

“Today marks a new beginning for these dogs,” says ASPCA Vice President of Field Investigations & Response Tim Rickey. “While these dogs are getting a happy ending, we can’t ignore the fact that there are so many other dogs still suffering in puppy mills across Michigan. This is one of the few states with no regulations to protect dogs in breeding facilities. We need lawmakers to take action.” 

Interested adopters should contact the Roscommon County Animal Shelter in Prudenville, Michigan, by calling (989) 366-0260. Adopters will be asked to complete an adoption application prior to visiting the shelter, and will be contacted to schedule appointments to further discuss animal placement.

The update below was originally published on January 8, 2016.

UPDATE: We are pleased to report that four defendants have been charged with 24 counts of animal cruelty in this case, in which more than 50 dogs were found living in tragic conditions in a puppy mill in Mio, Michigan. Unfortunately, 21 states have no laws on the books regulating commercial dog breeders—and a number of states that do require breeders to be licensed and inspected by the state only require commercial breeders to meet USDA standards of care. Please visit the Advocacy Center to find out how to find out how you can fight for stronger animal cruelty legislation in your state.

The update below was originally published on December 16, 2015.

UPDATE: We have just received video footage from our recent puppy mill rescue in Mio, Michigan, where more than 50 dogs were found living in tragic conditions. Some of the dogs were stacked in small wire cages in a dark basement, while others were living in ramshackle outdoor pens. Most were hungry, thirsty and fearful. “What’s truly tragic is that this not uncommon in the puppy mills that we’ve seen,” said Tim Rickey, Vice President of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. While this video footage may be difficult to view, the reality of what these puppies have been through is even more difficult. This holiday, help us save more animals just like them by making a gift to the ASPCA.

This post was originally published on December 15, 2015

ASPCA responders are on the ground in Mio, Michigan, assisting authorities with the seizure of more than 50 dogs from a large, substandard, unlicensed breeding facility known as a puppy mill. This investigation began after authorities received complaints of abuse at the facility, and the ASPCA deployed at the request of the Oscoda County Sheriff’s Department and Oscoda County Animal Control. The dogs were seized from the property after warrants were served, and criminal charges are expected to follow.

The dogs—ranging from English Bulldogs to Schnauzers—were discovered living in small wire cages stacked in a crowded, filthy basement and in ramshackle outdoor pens. Most dogs had no access to food or water, and responders on the scene found many of the dogs to be unsocialized and fearful when handled by humans.

“These dogs were living a very sad existence,” said Tim Rickey, Vice President of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “While the puppies at breeding facilities are sold for profit, their parents are often kept there for years, subjected to incessant breeding and typically lacking routine veterinary care and basic socialization, resulting in a very poor quality of life. Our goal is to remove these dogs, help them become healthy, and find them homes once custody is determined by the court.

The dogs are being transported to a temporary shelter established by the ASPCA in an undisclosed location, where they will receive much-needed medical exams and veterinary care. ASPCA responders will continue to care for the dogs at the temporary shelter until their custody is determined by the court. Additionally, the ASPCA is collecting forensic evidence and providing legal support to strengthen this case.

We are relieved that these dogs will be in a safe, comfortable place for the holidays, but sadly, countless animals across the country will spend the holiday season on the streets. Please make a donation to the ASPCA to help us rescue animals when they need us most.