Sheriff Stalls After PETA Exposes Mutilations, Suffering, Freezing Dogs at Local Dog Breeder

For Immediate Release:
January 4, 2022

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Lake City, Mich. – A new PETA undercover investigation into JRT John’s Jack Russell Terriers, a Missaukee County puppy-breeding operation owned by John D. Jones—from which 165 dogs were seized in 2013—has revealed ongoing and unabated suffering inflicted on Jack Russell terriers, whom Jones sells to the public. Despite having the video footage and other documentation for nearly a month, since December 3, the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office has yet to seize or render aid to the animals, which PETA has repeatedly offered to assist with. That is why the group will protest outside the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office, located at 110 S. Pine St. in Lake City at 12:30 pm today, urging law-enforcement officials to seize the dogs without further delay. Footage and photos from the investigation are available.

PETA’s findings include the following:

  • Jones severed puppies’ tails with forceps and cut off their dewclaws with nail clippers, without anesthetics or pain relief—as the puppies screamed in pain.
  • Nursing dogs and their puppies were confined to wooden boxes with urine-soaked straw inside a reeking, cluttered carport.
  • Dogs were confined to small cages outside in snow and mud. They were given only a few handfuls of straw per dilapidated doghouse, leaving them shivering in the rain and snow, and since the wind chill dipped to 1 degree, their drinking water froze daily. The animals drank immediately—sometimes for more than 60 seconds—when PETA’s investigator gave them water.
  • Deprived of stimulation and exercise, the frantic dogs turned in endless circles and otherwise exhibited signs of extreme psychological distress.
  • PETA’s investigator found one dog dead in a kennel with leaves and straw packed in his mouth. Jones hadn’t checked on the dogs all day and didn’t know that the dog had died. In the 11 weeks that PETA’s investigator worked at the kennel, he never saw Jones touch the dogs housed outside except to pick up the dead dog.

“Authorities have known about this ongoing criminal activity for four weeks but have done nothing to stop it while dogs in this breeder’s filthy operation are going mad from confinement, mutilated without painkillers, and left out in the bitter cold and snow, shaking and thirsty,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA urges Sheriff Wil Yancer to rescue these animals and uphold the law in Missaukee County.”

Law-enforcement authorities have followed Jones for years. By 2008, approximately 85 dogs had been seized from him in Barry County, Michigan. Sometime around 2011, he moved to Missaukee County; the next year, the sheriff’s office inspected his operation at least three times and tried to work with him to improve conditions for dogs. When that failed, authorities seized at least 165 dogs from him in 2013. PETA is asking the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development to investigate Jones 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.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind