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UPDATE: Allegan Dog Breeders Charged with Felony Animal Cruelty

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KENT COUNTY (WKZO)  -- UPDATE    Health Department and Police records show that George and Cheri Burke had been contacted by police several times when they lived on Elizabeth Street in Grand Rapids about keeping too many dogs in their residence.  There were complaints from the neighbors about the smell and the noise.

 She was cited and fined for failure to get a kennel license in 2005. At one point at the Grand Rapids address, records show they had 97 dogs.  When officials came by to check the next year, they had moved to Allegan County. 

ALLEGAN (WKZO)  --  The Allegan County couple who charged with operating that  runaway dog breeding operation out of their home in CheshireTownship has now been charged with animal cruelty, which is a felony according to prosecutors.  George and Cheri Burke voluntarily appeared for video arraignment late yesterday, and then were freed on $5,000 bond.

As a condition of that bond, they must stay away from animals.

They are scheduled to be back in court for their next hearing on the 24th.

Authorities found 353 small dogs living in their own filth at the address, many of them suffering from health problems, flea infestations and worms.

It has taken an expensive and time consuming response by dozens of professionals and volunteers to groom evakyate and treat the dogs.  That effort continues.

In fact because a number of the dogs were pregnant, there are now a total of 390 dogs involved in the case.

The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department is thanking all the volunteers and contributors who helped support the rescue operation. They say Wishbone Pet Rescue continues to work toward the goal of finding homes for these animals.

So far $13,000 has been contributed to help pay for  the neutering and testing for heartworm and other medical testing that has yet to be done. They say it will take until Monday until they start the adoption process. They have a stack of applications.

 

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