For Immediate Release:
January 7, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Lansing, Mich. – Thirty-four-year-old East Lansing resident Alexandra Shapardanis is on her way back home after celebrating a victory for dogs in Michigan, where she 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. Shapardanis was arrested on Wednesday for refusing to leave the office. Video of her arrest is available here.
Shapardanis was one of nearly 20 PETA supporters who traveled to Lake City 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 Alexandra Shapardanis’ 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.