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Charges authorized against couple that owns home where dogs, cats were seized

HARTLAND — Charges have been authorized against the couple that owns the home off Remsing Drive in Hartland Township where multiple cats and dogs were removed in April due to unsanitary conditions.

Deputies were dispatched April 13 after an anonymous caller said several dogs could be heard inside the residence but were never seen outside.

“We could see dogs inside and what appeared to be very unsanitary conditions,” said Livingston County Animal Control Deputy Juan Delatorre.

Deputies returned later with a search warrant to enter the property and seize the animals for neglect and unsanitary conditions. Upon entry, it was determined the residents were hoarding large amounts of items and garbage, to the point the floor was no longer visible.

On the day the search warrant was executed, three dogs were removed from the home. The next morning, the owners called and met with deputies. In the time since, another dog and seven cats have been captured.

Two animal control deputies have visited the home daily with live traps in an attempt to remove additional cats.

“It’s very hard,” Delatorre said. “It’s very strenuous on us, so we’re constantly going out and trying to capture cats. We think we have most of the cats, so we’re going to continue to give our best effort to get everybody out of there. We won’t stop until that’s finished.”

The couple hasn’t been named or arrested, but undisclosed charges have been authorized, Delatorre said. He added the owners are no longer living in the home, will sign over the dogs and cats, and are being cooperative.

“I’ve been doing this for approximately 12 years,” he said. “This is the worst sanitary conditions I’ve seen in my career inside a residence. This is something that didn’t happen overnight. This took a long time to get to such deplorable conditions.”

The cats are being taken to the Livingston County Animal Shelter, where the dogs are being housed. All animals are receiving medical care from a licensed veterinarian and will be available for adoption. Delatorre encourages people to call animal control, the animal shelter, or the sheriff’s office if they need help or resources before conditions in the home reach a level of unsanitation.

— Contact reporter Patricia Alvord at palvord@livingstondaily.com.


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