2 dogs with lice, open sores rescued from wretched conditions in Port Hope house

PORT HOPE, MI — Confined to wretched conditions that led them to develop sores and lice, two dogs have been rescued from a Huron County house thanks to an attentive sheriff’s representative.

About 1 pm on Friday, June 17, Sgt. James Hunt was working a complaint that took him to a residence on Main Street in Port Hope, where he heard a couple of dogs barking. Hunt was in the area investigating an unrelated matter.

Suspecting no one had been around the house in a while, Hunt asked neighbors if anyone was caring for the dogs.

From doing so, Hunt gathered no one had been to the house in more than three days. He returned to the residence and found the door unlocked. Opening it, he found a pit bull and a sheepdog living inside “in deplorable conditions,” said Sheriff Kelly J. Hanson.

“Large amounts of dog waste covered the floors throughout the residence, which was also filled with household debris and likely infested with harmful insects,” Hanson said, “not to mention a horrific odor that came from inside.”

Due to the shape of the dogs, Sanilac County Animal Control officers responded to assist in taking them to a local veterinarian.

Both dogs suffered from apparent lice and open sores and were filthy from having dried fecal matter matted into their coats. One dog’s tail had a portion chewed raw, seemingly an effect of it trying to deal with the bugs, Hanson said.

A sheepdog pulled from a house on Main Street in Port Hope on June 17, 2022, after having been found by a Huron County Sheriff’s sergeant. The two dogs were living in wretched conditions and had open sores and lice infections.

After receiving treatment, they were both taken to the Thumb Animal Shelter.

Deputies also learned the dogs’ owner hadn’t lived at the house for some time, possibly due to medical issues that required them to live elsewhere, the sheriff said. However, deputies located another person who was supposed to be looking after the dogs.

This man is readily admitted to having to wear boots whenever he entered the home due to the dogs’ waste.

Deputies are seeking animal cruelty and neglect charges from the Huron County Prosecutor’s Office. The suspect’s name is being withheld pending possible arraignment in court.

“What happened in this incident was inexcusable and preventable,” Hanson said. “Dog owners not taking care of them, or being [un]able to take care of them cannot just hope for the best.”

The sheriff encouraged Huron County residents who are having taking care of their dogs to call the Thumb Animal Shelter at 989-375-4204 for ideas and help.

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