More than 70 dogs found inside home in St. Clair County

COTTRELLVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. – More than 70 dogs were found Tuesday in a home in Cottrellville Township forcing deputies to obtain a search warrant and prompting a massive removal effort.

The Sheriff’s Animal Control Division received a call about a foul odor and loud barking coming from a residence on South River Road, according to St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon.

Deputies and an animal control officer were admitted to the residence Tuesday shortly after 1 p.m. They found more than 70 dogs living inside the small house, covered in feces and urine from the poor living conditions.

“Excessive noise from the barking of the dogs and then the foul smell, I mean it was really bad to the point where if the wind was blowing in the right direction you couldn’t sit outside,” neighbor Greg Bosel said.

The dogs all had free roam of the house and were not caged. They included two purebred breeds, Norwegian Buhund and Norrbottenspets, and a Norwegian Spets mix.

A total of 54 dogs were removed from the home Tuesday. Nine were taken by the St. Clair County Humane Society and 22 were taken to the St. Clair County Animal Control Office. A Colorado based Norwegian Buhund rescue arranged for temporary housing throughout Michigan for the other 23 dogs.

Authorities returned to the home Wednesday and the homeowners refused to allow entry into the home.

According to the St. Clair Animal Control Office, the homeowners moved from Colorado in hopes of breeding and selling the dogs.

Deputies obtained a search warrant and removed the remaining dogs.

“It’s not safe,” St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon said. “It’s not safe for the occupants of the home nor is it safe for the dogs.”

The incident remains under investigation.

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