ALLEGAN, MI (WKZO) -- There has been a tremendous and heartwarming outpouring of support following the heart breaking discovery of 350 small dogs, seized from a runaway puppy mill in Cheshire Township. Donated cleaning supplies and bags of dog food have piled up at the Allegan County Animal Shelter, volunteers were lining up and hundreds have signed up to adopt the dogs once they are ready.
They still need cash donations to cover the cost of inoculations, spaying and neutering and other medical care, and gas cards to transport the dogs to other shelters. They are signing up adoptive families at their website. They hope to have the dogs all located in new homes in the next few weeks.
The dog rescue taking place in Allegan County is a clean-up operation, but careful records are also being taken because each dog is possible evidence in a criminal investigation, should charges be brought against the two dog breeders believed to be responsible. Cheri Burke and her husband, George have not been charged with anything yet, but their home was not licensed to be a kennel, and the dogs weren’t licensed either. The woman who turned them in had gone there before to get a dog from the Burkes, but was concerned about what she found this second time. Sandy Rose of Paw Paw says she could smell the place from the driveway and she discovered her new dog needed medical treatment when she got it home.
Everyone who knows the Burkes, including Mrs. Rose, says they are animal lovers, and says they would never do anything to hurt the animals, but admit that it appears they just got in over their heads. The dog count is now over 353 at the shelter, some of the dogs were pregnant and puppies are being born regularly, adding to the work load.