NEWAYGO COUNTY, Mich.. — A man who breeds and sells dogs is facing a charge of animal abuse after police say they found several in poor condition on his property, including one with a leather strap bound around his head.
David Samuel Yoder is facing a charge of 'animals abandoning/cruelty to one animal', expected to be arraigned in the case Thursday in Newaygo County District Court.
According to court documents, Yoder breeds and sells dogs from his property. The criminal charge is related to his alleged neglect of a dog named Hank.
“I’ve been in rescue for 35 years and I've never ever, ever, ever seen anything so horrific,” said Nana Doodle, president and founder of Michigan Doodle Rescue Connect.
The 501(c)(3) organization was started by Doodle about 3 years ago. With a focus on doodles, the group matches dogs who need a new safe home with families that can take them in as a permanent member.
They were contacted through their Facebook page by someone who was worried about the conditions of 3 dogs.
“So we sent out a transport team to go pick the boys up there were three boys, about five to six months old. And they sent us a note and said one of them had a collar,” Doodle said.
That "collar" ended up being a leather strap that had been wrapped around Hank's head, which had to be surgically removed.
“Obviously they had to sedate him. They had to completely shave his entire face, and they could not close the wound because the swelling was so intense,” Doodle said.
In the court documents obtained by FOX 17, Michigan State Police Troopers went to Yoder's property to look into how he was caring for his dogs.
He allegedly told the troopers that he regularly feeds the dogs, but only checks on them once a month.
Hank was able to recover substantially from his wounds, and was eventually adopted out to a new family.
"There's probably some nerve damage. He doesn't like a collar. He doesn't like anything near his face.... the adopted adopted family, they use a harness for him to take him places and whatnot, so he definitely has suffered some mental trauma," Doodle said.
According to the Newaygo County Prosecutor's Office, the charge that Yoder is facing is a misdemeanor, that is punishable with up to 93 days in jail, $1,000 in fines and a potential 200 hours of community service.
Yoder may also be ordered to not possess or own any animals as part of a sentence.