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Group rescues dozens of animals at Ypsilanti Twp. home

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A Washtenaw County group is seeking donations to help treat more than a dozen animals rescued in Ypsilanti Township.

The Humane Society of Huron Valley was called to a home after someone who tried to buy a dog there reported glimpsing “puppies living in complete squalor, covered head to toe in feces,” nonprofit officials said in a statement.

When animal cruelty investigators arrived at the residence Wednesday, they found 17 Shih Tzu dogs with cages full of chickens crammed into a decrepit, waste-filled bedroom, according to the release. A pair of lovebirds, a parakeet, Rouen duck, a pony and a miniature horse also were on the property.

Most of the animals were matted and appeared to have various medical conditions, the society said Monday.

The owner is cooperating, said Melinda Szabelski, the group’s cruelty and rescue supervisor. “We’re relieved he recognized the need for assistance and so glad we’re able to get the animals the help they need.”

The pony remains under medical evaluation, and the miniature horse has found a permanent home at the SASHA Farm animal sanctuary in Manchester.

The puppies, dogs and birds were undergoing treatment at HSHV. The group is offering the animals for adoption but advises potential adopters “that many of the dogs are scared, not house trained and may have ongoing medical needs. They will need extra-patient adopters who can help build their confidence and provide for their special needs.”

To donate to help with their treatment or other HSHV animal rescue services, go to