128 animals rescued in St. Clair County community's worst-ever hoarding, animal abuse case

Animals rescued from home in Columbus Township, officials say

By Shawn Ley - Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

COLUMBUS TOWNSHIP, Mich. - More than 100 animals were rescued from a home in the worst hoarding and animal abuse case ever seen in one St. Clair County community, officials said.

Authorities got a search warrant based on the smell and noise coming from the home.

The woman inside the home on Bauman Road near Gratiot Avenue in Columbus Township had no comment about the case.

"Get off the property," she told Local 4.

Officials said the homeowner wouldn't let Animal Control officers in when they went to the home Tuesday with a warrant.

They finally had to force their way inside, officials said.

"We had to push a path of trash just to enter the home," said Erika Stroman, of St. Clair County Animal Control.

Inside, the home was packed with filthy crates. Officials said 128 animals were removed from the house.

The situation was so bad it became an animal cruelty investigation, officials said.

"It's the most ever removed in my career," Stroman said. "Deceased animals in the home, deceased outside."

Rabbits, ducks and chickens were kept in terrible conditions out back, officials said. Dogs, cats and birds were kept inside.

"All kinds of birds -- 60 were birds," Stroman said.

There was no food or water for the birds, officials said.

"It's the worst I've ever seen," Stroman said.

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