Malnourished dogs removed from home; owner found in hospital

Posted at 4:23 PM, Jan 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-23 21:38:58-05

PAW PAW, Mich. — Three dogs are recovering after being found over the weekend, locked in the basement of a dilapidated home.

The dogs were rescued from a two-story home in Lawrence, Michigan after neighbors called the Van Buren County Sheriff's office.

"The home didn’t have heat, water or electricity," said Lt. Jim Chacon. "There was feces throughout the house. Two of the dogs were very malnourished. The third was in better health but still malnourished."

Lt. Chacon said that the home was in poor condition and trash was everywhere.  They found the emaciated dogs locked in the basement and the owner was nowhere to be found.  They learned she was in the hospital but they did not disclose why or what condition she was in.

"She hadn’t been living in the house for quite some time," said Lt. Chacon about the woman who lived alone. "She was in the hospital the day of this incident."

All three animals were checked by a veterinarian.  Two of the dogs are now with Animal Control, while the third is with a relative of the owner.

"Hopefully we can work with the family," said Lt. Chacon. "Or if the animal can’t be returned to the family, they’ll sign off on the dogs and the dogs can be adopted out."

The owner is still in the hospital, Lt. Chacon said. The prosecutor will decide when the investigation is complete if the owner will face any charges.

"In a situation like this where you don’t see somebody living in the home and you see dogs at that home, if they’re not being cared for, you should definitely call the authorities and report it," Lt. Chacon advised. "At least we can look into it and maybe stop this before it gets this bad."