Suspect in puppy mill investigation arraigned, next court dates set

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Handcuffs sit on a table in this file photo. (Credit: Getty Images)

DELTA COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – On November 17, 2020, Rebecca Sue Johnson, of Maple Ridge Township, was charged with Felony Abandoning/Cruelty to 25 or more Animals, punishable by up to 7 years in prison, and Misdemeanor Animal Shelters/Pounds – Unregistered, punishable by up to 90 days in jail.

On November 23, 2020, Johnson posted a $60,000 cash or surety bond and is not allowed to purchase, possess, or care for animals. Johnson’s initial appearance in the matter was initially scheduled for December 9, 2020 in the 94th District Court.

Johnson appeard in court on Friday after her appearance was rescheduled in the 94th District Court.

There were no changes in the charges during Friday’s court appearance. The next hearing dates are a Probable Cause Conference on Dec. 17, 2020, which is not open to the public, and then a Preliminary Examination is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2021 beginning at 8:30 a.m.

On August 24, 2020, Michigan State Police, the Delta County Sheriff’s Office, and the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office conducted an investigation at a residence located in Maple Ridge Township, in Delta County, Michigan, that ultimately resulted in the seizure of 134 dogs and 20 horses.

Since their seizure in August 2020, these animals were taken into the care of the Delta Animal Shelter. Michigan State Police, as well as the Delta Animal Shelter, have conducted extensive medical evaluations and examinations of each individual animal seized. Since the initial seizure, approximately 100 puppies have born to dogs at the Delta Animal Shelter.

The Delta County Prosecutor’s Office thanks the investigatory efforts of Michigan State Police, and Delta County Sheriff’s Office. The Delta County Prosecutor’s Office also thanks the tremendous efforts of the Delta Animal Shelter, including the numerous volunteers and foster families, Bay Veterinary Clinic, D&D Dog Dynamics, Pampered Pets Grooming, and Countryside Veterinary Clinic.

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