For Immediate Release:
January 7, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Lake City, Mich. – This morning, at approximately 10:30 a.m. EST, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and officials from surrounding counties entered the property of John D. Jones, a breeder operating under the name JRT John’s Jack Russell Terriers, and removed 34 adult dogs and seven puppies, many of whom were left outside in pens as temperatures dropped to minus 5 degrees this week. Video footage of authorities leaving the property with the dogs is available here.
The action is a result of PETA’s four-day sit-in at the office of Missaukee County Sheriff Wil Yancer and a recent PETA undercover investigation into JRT revealing extreme abuse, neglect, and apparent violations of state law.
PETA presented video footage and documentation from the investigation to the sheriff’s office on December 3 and repeatedly offered to assist in removing or rendering aid to the dogs. This week, nearly 20 women traveled to Michigan from as far as Arizona and Washington, D.C., to appeal to the Michigan sheriff—they protested outside the sheriff’s office and held a sit-in in the foyer of the office. Photos and video footage of the sit-in, which began with a protest outside the sheriff’s office on Tuesday, are available here and here.
This morning, their wish came true. Around 10 a.m. EST, seven animal transport trucks pulled up in front of the sheriff’s office and—along with representatives from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and a team from the sheriff’s office—made their way to JRT John’s, 8376 N. Pioneer Rd., Lake City, Michigan, to rescue the dogs.
All 41 dogs are now in a safe, warm place with ample food, bedding, water, toys, and the care that they deserve.
In the state of Michigan, it’s illegal to deny animals adequate care and to mutilate them, both of which PETA’s investigation discovered were being done at JRT John’s.
“PETA is rejoicing that Sheriff Yancer did his job and thanks the animal control agencies for seeing the rescue operation through,” says PETA Vice President Dan Paden. “PETA hopes anyone moved by the dogs’ plight will avoid buying from a breeder and adopt from a shelter instead.”
PETA is now calling for cruelty charges to be filed against Jones and urging the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development to investigate him and bar him for life from being licensed to breed dogs.