Recently, a story about some small breed dogs being housed outside in rabbit hutches sparked outrage in Midland County and all over the country as the photos went viral. Many people contacted Midland County to ask that something be done to protect the dogs but the Sheriff had said that no laws were being broken. On February 6th, Midland County Sheriff Scott Stephenson met with the family that owns the dogs at this kennel. After a lengthy conversation, the family chose to voluntarily surrender all of the dogs that were being kept in the outside kennels. The animals were transported by the Animal Control Division of the Sheriff’s Department and arrangements were made to turn the animals over to previously contacted animal rescue groups.
Back in December when the photos of the dogs first came out, Laurel Barrick, who runs the Michigan Dog Rescue Advocates email list, reached out to several animal rescue groups – A New Start On Life , Cavalier Rescue USA, Westie Rescue of Michigan, and Animal Placement Bureau. They began online conversations about how to help. They sent their contact information and their willingness to step up to help in the event that the dogs were removed or surrendered.
A New Start On Life, a foster based rescue group, kept three dogs within their group – a male Yorkshire Terrier who is about three years old, a male Poodle mix who is about three or four years old and a Beagle/Terrier mix female who is about 1-1/2 years old.
All of the dogs rescued were infested with internal parasites and had grooming issues. The Westies had some ear infections. The dogs from A New Start on Life remain in foster care until they are placed. They will be made available in about three weeks, depending on how they are doing in the foster homes. Because of the parasites they came with, the rescue group needs to make sure they are cleared up before being adopted out.
A New Start On Life is no stranger to to breeder surrender/hoarding rescues. About ten years ago, they were asked to rescue 63 small dogs from a hoarding situation in Allegan County. We travel to Missouri about twice a year bringing back dozens of dogs released by commercial breeders.
A New Start On Life is a very small non-profit group. They can certainly could use donations to help with the dogs. Monetary donations can be made on line to their paypal account at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to A New Start On Life, PO Box 78, Hamilton, MI 49419. All donations are tax deductible.
In addition to the dogs listed above, three Cavaliers went to Cavalier Rescue USA, six West Highland Terriers went to Westie Rescue of Michigan, and two Cocker Spaniels went to Animal Placement Bureau. Westie Rescue of Michigan has set up a fundraiser to help with the care of the dogs they took in here.
Each group arranged to meet at the Sheriff’s office and transported their dogs to the individual rescue. This all was arranged within two hours. The person interviewed for this story from A New Start on Life said, “I think this is a wonderful example of reputable rescues communicating and working together towards a common goal.”