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A tip led Ingham County Animal Control to seize a basset hound at the center of the bestiality case against a Michigan State University health physicist.

Joseph Alan Hattey, 51, of Holt, is charged with two counts of sodomy after he allegedly penetrated the dog with both his hands and penis, according to Attorney General Bill Schuette's office, which is prosecuting the case. 

Sodomy is a felony punishable by up to 15-years in prison, according to Schuette's office.

John Dinon, director of the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter, said the male dog was seized on March 8. Abuse against the dog allegedly took place between Jan. 7 and March 8, according to Attorney General Bill Schuette's office, which is prosecuting the case. 

Animal Control reported the alleged abuse to the Ingham County Sheriff's Office, which opened an investigation. This led to the charges filed Monday against Hattey.

 "(Bestiality is) something that happens behind closed doors, and can be tough to discern," said Dinon.

The dog, who became known as Flash during his stay with animal control, is now "in a great home, with a great family," Dinon said. But because he could be used as evidence in the upcoming criminal case against Hattey, Dinon said "he's basically in witness protection," declining to share the dog's new name.

Last year, Ingham County Animal Control took in 1,490 dogs and 1,047 of them were either adopted, returned to their owners, or transferred. The rest were euthanized after being deemed "unadoptable" due to severe health or behavioral problems.

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