For Immediate Release:
January 7, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Fort Wayne, Ind. – Fort Wayne and Columbia City residents Sky Dawson and Heather Leughmyer are on their way back home after celebrating a victory for dogs in Michigan, where they helped lead a four-day sit-in of the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office that prompted officials today from three other counties and the sheriff’s department to rescue all of the dogs whose suffering was exposed in a PETA undercover investigation into an area puppy-breeding operation.
Dawson and Leughmyer were among the nearly 20 PETA supporters who traveled to Michigan from across the country after Missaukee County Sheriff Wil Yancer refused to act on PETA’s video footage and photos of Jack Russell terrier breeder John D. Jones severing puppies’ tails with forceps and without anesthetics or pain relief as the animals screamed in pain. Dozens of dogs were confined to small cages outside, where they shivered in the rain and snow. The night before the dogs’ rescue, the temperature dropped to minus 5 degrees.
“Thanks to Sky Dawson’s and Heather Leughmyer’s courage and selflessness, today, we can celebrate that these dogs have finally been rescued from the freezing cold,” says PETA Vice President Dan Paden. “PETA hopes anyone moved by their plight will never buy from a breeder and always adopt from a shelter instead.”
Animal control agencies in Clare, Roscommon, and Wexford counties and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources removed the dogs from Jones’ property. 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.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.