HURON COUNTY (WJRT) (3/5/2019) - Police are seeking criminal charges after finding four dogs outside a residence in Huron County on Monday, three of which were malnourished.
The Huron County Sheriff's Office received an anonymous tip around 8 a.m. about the dogs outside a residence on Moeller Road in Huron Township. The dogs all were chained separately outside.
One of the dogs was shivering in an open air plastic dog house without proper bedding while another was inside a dog house with openings that allowed frigid winds to pass through.
A third dog, which is pregnant, was on a chain cut too short to allow her into her house. She gave birth to a litter of five puppies on Tuesday.
The fourth dog had adequate shelter. Police say none of the dogs had food or water available to them.
The Huron County Sheriff's Office asked a veterinarian to assess the dogs at the scene. He determined three of the four dogs were malnourished and one was in severely poor health.
Nobody was home when police arrived on the scene. Authorities transported the dogs to the Thumb Animal Shelter while police continue investigating the case.
The sheriff's office made contact with a woman Monday afternoon who lives at the house. She was planning to meet with investigators Tuesday, along with another resident who may be involved.
Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson said criminal charges are likely in the case. He encourages any residents struggling to adequately care for their pets to call the animal shelter for assistance.
In yesterday's (Monday's) case, we are very thankful for that tip because they may have had to endure an even more brutal night with the wind added to the cold temperature," Hanson said.
In a separate possible animal abuse case on Sunday, a Huron County sheriff deputy responded to a witness report of someone beating a hunting dog with a piece of garden hose.
The witness also reported seeing someone throw the dog against the side of a pickup truck on Verona Road in Verona Township.
A Huron County sheriff deputy tracked down a 62-year-old man from Ubly, who allegedly was involved in the case, a couple hours later and found the dog was in good health.
The deputy plans to present the case to the Huron County Prosecutor's Office this week for possible criminal charges.