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Children, 39 animals removed from home

MANISTIQUE — Two children and 39 animals were removed from an unsanitary Manistique home after a search warrant was served by Manistique Public Safety Monday.

On Wednesday, July 8, officers with Manistique Public Safety began to receive numerous reports of potential animal neglect at a private home on Schoolcraft Avenue in Manistique. Pursuant to their investigation, officers obtained a search warrant for the home and served it at 5 p.m. on Monday, July 13.

A subsequent search of the home found that 39 animals were being kept there, including nine dogs, 12 cats, four bearded dragon lizards, 13 chickens and a hamster. Most of the animals were in poor physical condition, and were suffering from severe flea infestation and unsanitary living conditions.

Nine people were also living in the home, and eight of the residents were present when the search warrant was served. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services was called to remove two children — a 10-year-old and a 16-year-old — from the home. The department is also investigating the possible neglect of two elderly vulnerable adults found in the home.

Officers removed all of the animals found at the home. They were turned over to the Eva Burrell Animal Shelter and Upper Peninsula Veterinary Service. Officers then cleared the scene.

A formal report of the incident has been submitted to Schoolcraft County Prosecutor Timothy Noble for review and possible criminal charges. The Manistique City Attorney has also been contacted regarding city ordinance zoning violations.

Manistique Public Safety was assisted at the scene by the Michigan State Police, Eva Burrell Animal Shelter, Upper Peninsula Veterinary Service, Thompson Veterinary Clinic and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. As of Tuesday, a police investigation into the situation was continuing. No further information was being released at the time.

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