Sheriff: 98 dogs, 3 cats removed from home

COTTRELLVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- Pet owners could face charges after 98 dogs and three cats were removed from their Detroit-area house following a neighbor's complaints about the smell and noise.

The Cottrellville Township couple appears to have been breeding, showing and rescuing dogs, according to St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon. The animals -- Norwegian Buhund, Norrbottenspets and Norwegian Spets mix -- were covered in feces and urine, but in overall good physical condition, the sheriff's office said.

"I think somewhere along the line, things got out of control," Donnellon told WJBK-TV.

A neighbor complained to authorities about a foul odor and loud barking at the home, about 50 miles northeast of Detroit. The homeowners allowed deputies inside and 22 dogs were taken out Tuesday by Animal Control officers.

"Really, what set it off was the stench," neighbor Greg Bosel told the television station. "It just got to be so nasty -- the stench -- you couldn't sit outside and enjoy yourself if the wind was blowing in the wrong direction."

The homeowners turned over another 23 dogs Tuesday to a Colorado-based Norwegian Buhund rescue, the sheriff's office said. The organization arranged temporary housing throughout Michigan for the dogs.

The homeowners gave nine more dogs to the St. Clair County Humane Society.

"On Wednesday, deputies and the Animal Control officer returned to remove the remaining dogs," the sheriff's office said Thursday in a release. "This time, a search warrant had to be served to enter the home, as the residents refused to cooperate."

Animal Control removed 38 dogs and three cats Wednesday. Officers also learned that six dogs had been given to another humane society.

Authorities in Cottrellville Township will consider possible code violations, while the St. Clair County Health Department is investigating possible health code violations. The St. Clair County prosecutor's office will consider filing criminal charges.

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