150 dead dogs found in freezers at Mich. home

Dog House Mich
Authorities line up rescued Chihuahuas in travel kennels Friday as the investigation continued at the Dearborn, Mich., home where authorities say they found about 150 dead dogs packed in freezers. Authorities also rescued about 110 live dogs.Paul Sancya / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Police on Friday found about 150 dead dogs packed in freezers in the basement of a Michigan house littered with feces and trash where more than 110 live dogs, mostly Chihuahuas, were rescued this week.

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said the 56-year-old man found Wednesday in the suburban Detroit home with the animals may have been living with an increasing number of dogs for up to three or four years.

"The house was in complete disarray, very cluttered and, with 100-plus dogs running around in there, very filthy," he said.

A criminal investigation was under way at the two-story brick home, Haddad said. He said the case could be forwarded to prosecutors for possible animal-cruelty charges.

Haddad said 112 live dogs had been removed from the home as of Friday, and police believe about five more may be hiding inside. He declined to release details about the breed of the dead dogs.

The man living in the house was taken to a local hospital for observation, and a lawyer acting as family spokesman said he was getting a psychiatric evaluation. Investigators previously said the man apparently was hoarding the dogs.

Strong odor
Neighbors in the past had complained of an odor at the Dearborn home, which had a neatly cut lawn and manicured bushes. But this week was the first time officials got inside, and crews needed masks to breathe.

Trash was piled from floor to ceiling in places, and feces and urine was throughout the home. Forty-two ailing and feces-covered dogs were rescued Wednesday. Crews returned Thursday and found more than 60 dogs, and about 10 more live dogs were found Friday, police said.

The smell, noticeable from the street Thursday and Friday, may have been contained previously because windows were closed and covered.

The rescued dogs were taken to the Dearborn Animal Shelter, where residents brought dog food donations and filled out pet adoption applications.

One local resident dropped off four 20-pound bags of dog food at the shelter.

"It's not much. It's only four bags, but it will feed them today," said Margaret Metas, 81.