For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Lake City, Mich. – Circuit Judge Jason J. Elmore of the 28th Circuit Court has just ruled that 39 dogs seized by the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office from breeder John D. Jones’ unlicensed kennel in January not be returned to his custody and instead be placed for adoption by the animal control agencies in Clare, Grand Traverse, Roscommon, and Wexford counties, which are currently caring for them after assisting with their seizure.
The Missaukee County District Court also found probable cause for Jones’ felony charge of neglecting more than 25 animals; two felony charges of assaulting, resisting, and/or obstructing police officers; and two new felony charges related to his practice of severing puppies’ dewclaws and twisting off their tails without administering any pain relief, which an expert testified was extremely painful and disgusting. Jones is scheduled to be arraigned on the five felonies and three related misdemeanors on Friday.
“This ruling means that these 39 long-suffering dogs will have a chance to find loving homes, and the urine-soaked boxes, freezing cold, barren outdoor cages, and Jones’ chronic neglect of their basic needs can fade from their memories,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is celebrating a new beginning for these dogs and looks forward to seeing Jones banned for life from possessing more animals.”
Today’s developments follow a PETA investigation revealing daily neglect at Jones’ breeding operation, a four-day sit-in at the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office by PETA members calling for action, and the seizure of the dogs on January 7. PETA’s video footage and photos showed that Jones left the small, short-haired dogs penned outside in subzero wind chills, snow, and mud—often without drinkable water. One dog, Amos, died overnight.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that this was the third time law-enforcement authorities have confiscated dogs from Jones. In 2008, approximately 85 dogs were seized from him in Barry County, and in 2013, authorities seized at least 165 dogs from him in Missaukee County.