LANSING, MI (WLNS) – The Ingham County Animal Shelter continues it’s search for a specialized group to help with the rehab of dogs seized during a dog fighting ring bust earlier this year and the shelter’s director told an advisory committee Monday night that time is running out to find one.
Between Ingham and Eaton counties, more than 50 dogs were taken in as evidence in this dog fighting ring investigation.
The Ingham County Animal Shelter owns 10 of them.
Five were put down, five are being kept at the shelter and the other 32 dogs are staying in a second shelter the county set up while the court process continues.
Workers are having a hard time trying to juggle operations between the two and John Dinon, the shelter’s director, is asking for help from any experienced agency.
“Really the problem we’re having is finding anyone who has any experience rehabilitating fighting dogs who will take them,” Dinon said.
He said if the shelter can’t find a credible rehab agency to take in the five fighting dogs by the end of this week, they will be euthanized.
“We’re all about saving lives but we have to balance that against what’s good for the dogs,” he said. “They’re not happy in the kennels at the shelter despite the great care we take of them.”
Dinon also said it’s putting a lot of strain on those who work at the shelter.
“My staff has just been working like crazy taking care of all the animals this summer including these very challenging dogs,” he said. “These dogs are pretty dangerous to handle some of them and it’s a big expense to the tax payers of Ingham County.”
“These dogs deserve a second chance,” Christy Lawrence said. “My god if you’ve been in a kennel since March, just imagine.”
Lawrence is part of a local group that’s advocating to keep these dogs alive. She said euthanizing the dogs should not be an option.
“I just hope that we can save the rest of these dogs and get them to see that there are professionals out there that can assist with this situation and take the burden off the county,” she said.
Lawrence also said she will continue making calls to agencies asking if they would help rehab the dogs.
So far, two people have been charged in connection with this dog fighting ring investigation.
They include Corey Henry and Synquiss Antes. They both face multiple charges including animal fighting.
A third person was also charged, but recently the charges dropped due to lack of evidence.
Dinon said an additional arrest warrant request has been submitted to the prosecutor’s office and three more are forthcoming.
Earlier this month, the Ingham County Law and Courts Committee endorsed a resolution that would give animal control agencies more options when it comes to handling dogs seized in a dog fighting ring.
The full Ingham County Board is set to vote on that measure during it’s meeting Tuesday night.
Stay with 6 News, we will continue to follow this story for you and bring you any updates as soon as we get them.