100 animals seized from Independence Township home, 16 dead

Hani Barghouthi
The Detroit News

Independence Township — Dozens of animals were removed Tuesday afternoon from a house after officials received a tip about unsanitary conditions, officials said. 

Officers discovered dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and a bearded dragon in a house in the 6000-block of Northview Drive in Independence Township. Many of the animals were showing signs of illness, according to a statement from the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center.

Some animals were found dead, and the temperature inside the house was higher than the outdoor temperature due to a lack of air conditioning and airflow, the shelter said. 

Animal control officers obtained permission from the resident and her spouse to enter and inspect the home when they arrived on scene. Because of the condition of the animals, with many needing immediate veterinary attention, the officers removed them from the home. 

The bulk of the animals were cats, 82 of which were found. Nine of them were dead at the scene, two died in transit, and two more died overnight at the shelter. Veterinary staff euthanized an additional three because of their deteriorating health from an infectious disease, the statement said. 

In addition, there were eight ferrets, five dogs, four rabbits, and one bearded dragon, all of whom are alive. Veterinary and shelter staff are evaluating and caring for the 84 remaining animals at the shelter.

The resident of the home and her husband told animal control officers they were providing “care” for the cats as part of their involvement with a cat rescue organization.

She surrendered ownership of them to the shelter. Some of the animals, however, were privately owned by the resident and another adult tenant of the house who had recently moved in.

Neither relinquished ownership of those animals, all of which were being removed from the home according to the Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center, which said it would begin forfeiture proceedings and conduct an investigation. When complete, animal control officers will present the results to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Officer for review and consideration of criminal charges