The Missaukee County Puppy Mill Dog Seizure Update…Where are they Now?

It’s been a little more than two months since more than 150 dogs were sized from the John D. Jones Kennel in Lake City in Missaukee County after a year long court battle. You can read the story about the seizure here.


The dogs were taken to many different locations in and out of the state including Handds to the Rescue (Traverse City, MI), Roscommon County Animal Shelter (Prudenville, MI), MHS (Rochester Hills Center, MI), Medina County SPCA (Ohio), Animal Humane Society (Golden Valley, Minnesota), Kent County Animal Shelter (Grand Rapids, MI) and the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center (Madison, New Jersey).

The Michigan Humane Society (Rochester Hills Center) took 17 of the dogs, most of which were older dogs used for breeding, one of whom appeared to be mostly blind.

Incredibly, all 17 dogs that were brought to the Michigan Humane Society from the puppy mill seizure have already been adopted!

Jeff Baker adopted Kennedy, the first of the 17 dogs to find a new home. Kennedy will get plenty of love and attention now!

Jeff Baker adopted Kennedy, the first of the 17 dogs to find a new home. Kennedy will get plenty of love and attention now!

Leonardo was adopted by Daniel Sturgis in early June.

Leonardo was adopted by Daniel Sturgis in early June.

Shiba Inu Eric was adopted by Leah Plato who fell in love with him right away. The heartwarming match brought tears to the staff of MHS.

Shiba Inu Eric was adopted by Leah Plato who fell in love with him right away. The heartwarming match brought tears to the staff of MHS.

One of the dogs, Margaret, is a very special case.  Margaret was diagnosed with cancer while in the care of MHS. She had surgery at MHS, but sadly, the cancer had spread. However, an MHS staff person, Gabi Vannini, adopted her and she and her husband Chris are giving Margaret a loving home and all the care and attention she deserves so she can enjoy the rest of her life. Here’s what Gabi recently wrote about Margaret…

“We are so thrilled to receive such a wonderful card filled with your positive thoughts, love and well wishes for Margaret! She is such an amazing dog who is really soaking up the chance to enjoy all the comforts of living in a loving home instead of a kennel. She doesn’t let the cancer get the best of her. She still plays with her tennis ball a few minutes out of the day and tries to keep up with her four-legged siblings. Her favorite thing to do is snuggle close to my husband on the couch and sleep on my pillow at night. We feel so blessed to have her in our lives, even if it’s just for a little while. We can’t thank you enough for all of your love and support!! It truly helps us heal during this difficult time.” – Gabi and Chris, Margaret’s Family

Margaret’s Rescue Story can be found here.

Handds had 22 of the dogs seized and only has one Shiba Inu left and four Jack Russell Terriers.

The good news is that, according to Roscommon County Animal Control Director Terry MacKillop of Roscommon Animal Shelter, who took the lead role in the seizure, he has not heard that any of the dogs have had to be euthanized for aggression or illness.

The Medina SPCA in Ohio helped the ASPCA by taking 31 of the 169 dogs seized back to their shelter. They said that eventually all will be adoptable after they receive a full medical work up. The rescue and all medical care was fully funded by the ASPCA. The little Jack Russell below is one of the dogs who has been adopted from this group.


Several Shiba Inus from the seizure were sent to Handds to the Rescue out of Traverse City and two of them got adopted by Katie D and her husband, Brent. Katie was very excited to be able to rescue her dream dogs. Katie and Brent had seen a Shiba Inu in the summer of 2012 and really liked the breed. They did some research and decided it was the dog they wanted. They like the breed because of their size, activity level and good looks. They also wanted dogs who were similar in size to their two Maine Coon cats, Baby and Red.





Katie and Brent had actually looked Shiba Inus on the John Jones website but didn’t feel right getting a dog from a breeder. They decided that if they were able to find one through a rescue or animal shelter, they would definitely look into adopting. After hearing about the dogs being seized, Katie was put on a waiting list at one of the shelters who received some of the dogs but eventually learned that they did not have any of the Shiba Inus. A little later, Katie saw a story on Pet Friends Magazine that Handds had also received some of the dogs from the seizure. Katie called right away and went to look at Shina Inus Penny, Hank and Curly. Katie and Brent decided to adopt Penny, a red female who is about two years old, but they were also very interested in Hank, a tri-colored male who is about a year old. They decided to get them both!



Penny and Hank are their family’s first dogs. The dogs are adjusting well and starting to open up. Katie says they don’t know how to be a regular dog, which is typical of puppy mill rescues. They rarely sit or lay on the floor, they don’t like bones/treats and toys scare them. On the positive side, they have not had any potty accidents since the first day they came home and they really enjoy their evening walks. Like any dogs in a hoarding-type situation, it will take love and time to bring them around and get used to a new routine.

As for John Jones, who ran the kennel, he was formally charged with obstructing and resisting police, which happened when his kennel was raided. His motion to dismiss the felony charges were denied recently. Last month during the arraignment, he didn’t say anything or even enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. The pre-trial is now scheduled for August 5th at the Circuit Court in Missaukee County (Case number 13-2575SH) with Judge William M. Fagerman. Undersheriff William Yancer hopes to include probation terms that will prevent Jones from having animals in other counties or states.

This may be the only opportunity to impose probation that would restrict Jones from having animals. If you’d like to contact the prosecutor about this, you can email William Donnelly here.

You can also sign the online petition which has more than 7,000 supporters here.


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One thought on “The Missaukee County Puppy Mill Dog Seizure Update…Where are they Now?

  1. Barb Polzin July 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm Reply

    I sent a friend a photo of a mix named Cora from this group. Handds had her and my friends adopted her right away. They love her and she is doing great!

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