MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – Two brothers believed to be responsible for housing and transporting more than 50 dogs in Macomb County turned themselves in to Sterling Heights police Monday.
Erik Crawley, 48, and Kristopher Crawley, 49, have both been charged with abandoning animals and cruelty to 10 or more animals. The animal cruelty charge is a four-year felony.
Police and prosecutors allege that the brothers had been evicted from their home in Sterling Heights, where they were living with the dogs in appalling conditions.
Neighbors had voiced concerns regarding odor coming from the suspects’ home, and animal control responded to the home to determine if an animal carcass was in the garbage.
The brothers rented a U-Haul truck after being evicted and in a disturbing and very unsanitary manner, transported the 52 dogs to Macomb County Animal Control.
“This is a horrific case of animal cruelty,” said Smith. “These dogs were emaciated, extremely dehydrated, covered in filth and scars. A female German shepherd mix had to be euthanized due to the injuries she sustained. As a dog lover, it is utterly devastating.”
Smith also noted that animal cruelty will never be tolerated.
"The fact is, we need stronger penalties for hoarding and abusing these innocent animals. I am very proud of the response from the community, as well as my staff, in providing support to these innocent victims,” Smith said.