Ypsilanti man sentenced for keeping animals in ‘horrible conditions’


YPSILANTI, Mich. – John Michael Stewart pled guilty and was sentenced on Tuesday to two counts of animal abuse.

He was sentenced in Ypsilanti’s 14A District Court two years after the Humane Society of Huron Valley removed 45 dogs and cats from his home. Officers from HSHV were called to his residence in Aug. 2020 by Pittsfield Township police.

They found animals caked with excrement and reported that the building had flooded with sewage. According to HSHV, many of the animals were emaciated and some were already deceased when they arrived.

“Though we wish it would have been earlier, we’re relieved Mr. Stewart forfeited his animals so that they can finally get loving homes,” HSHV CEO Tanya Hilgendorf said in a statement. “Our shelter is top-notch, but there’s nothing like a forever home. These animals were living in horrible conditions, then had to wait over 600 days for the system to get justice. They deserve better.

“Similar to other cases, we appreciate that the owner was ordered to pay restitution for the housing, feeding, exercise and enrichment, and all veterinary care for his animals for nearly two years. But it’s worth noting that rarely do these bills cover the full cost of care and even more rarely are they paid in full, if at all.”

According to HSHV, the cases of Stewart’s roommates are still pending. They have not forfeited their animals, who are currently housed at the shelter.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.