On January 26, 2022, Cruelty Investigators at the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) in coordination with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s department executed a search warrant on a structure in Lodi Township, leading to the rescue of five adult cats. The cats were reportedly found without water and in a state of physical and medical neglect.

The five adult cats were allegedly living for an extended period of time in a car with the two suspects, who previously were in and out of motel rooms over several years. The cats were purportedly sickly, in need of basic care and medical attention, and the conditions in the car were unsanitary.

“Our hearts go out to people who are unhoused and in need of their own intervention,” says Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV’s CEO. “This sad case gives us an opportunity to remind the community that we have many ways to help pet owners who are struggling and to avoid unnecessary suffering. In addition to the shelter, we have an emergency harbor program which is completely funded by donors in the community, a low cost veterinary clinic, and a free pet food pantry – and we remain open seven days a week.”

“We are always grateful to those who speak out for animals in need,” added Hilgendorf.

Michigan law requires that owners provide animals with adequate care, including sufficient food, water, shelter, sanitary conditions and exercise.

Those who suspect animal abuse or neglect in Washtenaw County are reminded they can make a report on HSHV’s website or call 734-661-3512.  Those outside of Washtenaw County should call their local animal control or law enforcement agency.