Rescue group calls for more action in alleged puppy mill case

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DUNDEE, Mich. (WTVG) - The Michigan Attorney General's office is investigating an alleged puppy mill, which has sparked outrage throughout Monroe County.

Trina Stillwagon, general manager of the Monroe SPCA, says two Hillsdale County men stopped by the Monroe SPCA in February, peddling puppies.

“They all tested positive for internal parasites, other health issues, ear infections, things, in our view, that helped support evidence of cruelty,” she said.

Stillwagon contacted law enforcement agencies right after she met the men and that between February and September the SPCA purchased dozens of dogs.

“We are not in the business of buying dogs, absolutely not," she said. "The reason we did it is to get evidence and make cruelty charges.”

Along with the dogs SPCA bought, Stillwagon says more than 20 dogs were given away for free.

“He asked us to hold 26 dogs. No money was paid. He was asking us to hide evidence because he knew there was an investigation,” Stillwagon said.

Stillwagon contacted a friend who also does rescue work about the case.

“Angry, upset. No puppy should have to be that way, none,” Carri Shipaila of Luvunpupz Rescue said. “They're not like they should be. They are not where they are supposed to be emotionally or physically.”

The two say there are still dozens of dogs at the same Hillsdale County puppy mill these dogs came from.

“Those dog's need a rescuer. Either the AG's office or the Monroe County prosecutor's office need to do their jobs and get those dogs off that property. They are cruelty victims. Michigan has great laws, use them. They need to be prosecuted. The prosecutor's need to step up and do what's right for the animals.”

Many of the dogs taken in by the rescues have already been adopted, with the other soon to follow.

13abc is not naming the men because they have not been charged.

The Michigan Attorney General's office says they toured the alleged puppy mill with a Michigan Humane Society vet in October and they determined there were no health or welfare concerns for the dogs still there.

The office says they've met with the men and have confirmed they are no longer selling dogs or puppies, though the case remains in the investigative process.

Monroe County prosecuting attorney Michael Roehrig says any potential prosecution will be based on the AG's investigation.

“The criminal aspect would ... include referring the case(s) to the criminal division of the Attorney General's office or to the appropriate county prosecuting attorney's office(s) for further action if warranted by the facts,” Roehrig said.