Neighbors: Nearly 40 Dogs Taken From Grand Rapids Home

Posted at 7:19 PM, Jun 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-28 19:20:43-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (June 28, 2014) — Neighbors next to a home in northeast Grand Rapids said that almost 40 dogs have been removed from the house.

The residents of the home claimed that they ran a grooming service and animal rescue, but neighbors say it’s been a headache.

“It’s just horrible. It’s like how can you treat an animal like that,” said neighbor Jon Lovell.

Pictures from inside the home show dozens of dogs inside small crates.

The city of Grand Rapids does not set a limit on how many dogs can legally live inside of a home.

Jon Lovell said that he’s lived in his home next door for 25 years. Lovell said that after the homeowner’s niece Kim Savino moved in last fall, the number of dogs inside skyrocketed.

“To explain it would be like sitting at the runway of the Kent County Airport when jets are taking off and landing. That’s what it was like. You can’t hear each other, think, talk. When the dog would bark in the middle of the night in their house, we could hear it in ours,” said Lovell.

FOX 17 caught up with Savino in November, and she denied our request to let us inside to see the conditions the dogs were living in.

We then got a hold of an animal control report that stated 37 dogs were living inside.

No one answered the front door when we visited the home on Saturday.

Neighbors said that Kent County Animal Control officers took all of the dogs from the home and the front yard was filled with kennels while the dogs were taken out.

Lovell said that despite Savino claiming that shes provides adequate care for the animals, he’s witnessed the dogs being physically abused.

“Of course if you listen to them, they’d say they treated their dogs wonderful and stuff, but we’ve seen them throw them in and out of the house. Sometimes when they were throwing them in the house, they didn’t quite make it the door. They’d hit the side of the slider window and you’d hear them yelp,” said Lovell.

Lovell said that the noise and smell has gotten so bad that he still hasn’t made a decision on whether to move from the home he’s lived in for 25 years.

“We talked about it all the time and I’m still thinking about it of getting out of here just because of what’s going on next door, and yet I’d feel horrible to sell it to somebody knowing that my neighbors would drive them absolutely crazy,” said Lovell.

Lovell said that the neighborhood association is teaming up with local politicians to try to push to change Grand Rapid’s animal ordinance, and hopes the dogs don’t return to the home.