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‘Neighborhood Controversy’ After Residents Question Care of Dogs

Posted at 10:38 PM, Aug 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-07 12:52:51-04

CENTREVILLE, Mich.,– A controversy brewing in a St. Joseph County neighborhood after some residents started questioning the care of what look likes neglected animals on one of their neighbors property.

Tuesday, concerned residents even went before St. Joseph County Commissioners to get their message across.  The group ‘Animal Rescue Fund’ was at the meeting after getting sent pictures of dogs chained up in pens. They were concerned they weren’t getting adequate food and water.

St. Joseph County Animal Control Director Tom Miller says he has had to field phone calls all day trying to explain to people whats going on.

Miller says it’s all just a big mis-understanding after pictures were posted on Facebook, he says someone actually trespassed on the owner’s property just off of M-86 to take the pictures when the owners were gone for the day.

Miller says they have gone out to the property several times and have found no violations. “That doesn’t mean that people can’t have dogs outside, it doesn’t mean they can’t be on a tether. It doesn’t mean they can’t be in a cage, you just have to provide the minimum basics for them which is the food, water and shelter, so there’s a lot of interpretation,” said Miller.

The owners didn’t want to go on camera but say they have four Huskies one of which just had three puppies. They say all of this is upsetting.  In fact, they say one of the dogs is therapeutic for the owners son, who suffers from a traumatic brain injury.

“They just need a little housecleaning, like when you tether a dog make sure there’s nothing that’s going to get tangled. So we made a few recommendations,” said Miller.

Some residents say that’s still not enough and this isn’t the first time they’ve complained with nothing be done about it.

“We want to raise awareness that we want better enforcement for our animals in St. Joseph county,” said LeAnn Farmer with Animal Rescue Fund. “It seems that some kind of accountability should be in order.”