Neighbor's phone call helps save 19 dogs from 'appalling' conditions at Detroit home

Humane Society says dogs appeared not to have been outside in a while

DETROIT – It started as a raid Tuesday night to rescue five dogs from a home near 7 Mile Road and I-75 in Detroit. 

Detroit police officers then got a search warrant and found what was inside the house. 

"A lot of the animals we did remove from the basement appeared to have not been outside in a while," said Andy Seltz, vice president of field service for the Michigan Humane Society (MHS). "A lot of the environmental stimulus was very new to them. Green grass, fresh air -- it was a very eye-opening experience to see the reactions of those dogs."

Seltz said the conditions in which the dogs were living were "appalling." It could have been a lot worse for the dogs if the Human Society had not gotten the call. Overall, 19 dogs were rescued from the home. They're not ready to be adopted yet, but they will, and that highlights an even bigger problem at the Humane Society. 

"Anytime you take in 19 dogs it highlights the stress on the system and we need adopters -- people --  to give these animals a loving home," said Matt Pepper, CEO at MHS. 

One bulldog in particular stands out. 

"He's obviously had a rough life. He's dirty and stinky but he's amazing. He's indicative of all 19 of these animals," said Seltz. 

Investigators believe the homeowner had good intentions but just got overwhelmed. Seltz said this all started with a call from a concerned neighbor. He wants to remind people to pick up the phone and make the call if they see something suspicious. In this case, the simple call likely saved several of the animals. 

About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.