Three Days and Counting: Women Wait in Lobby, Asking to Meet With Sheriff in Lake City, MI re Cruelty to Dogs

Sheriff Meets With Male Dog Breeder, Shoves One Peaceful Female Pleader, Harasses Others

For Immediate Release:
January 6, 2022

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Lake City, Mich. – The temperature has dropped to 12 degrees, and over 30 dogs are trapped outside in pens at JRT John’s Jack Russell Terriers, an area puppy-breeding and -selling operation located at 8376 N. Pioneer Rd., Lake City, MI, 49651, where they will remain for the remainder of the winter if Sheriff Wil Yancer refuses to act. In PETA’s eyes, he is now an accessory to the illegal neglect of the dogs, some of whom have already died.

PETA supporters are occupying the foyer of the Missaukee County, Michigan, Sheriff’s Office at 110 S. Pine St., Lake City, appealing the sheriff’s failure to seize or render aid to 34 adult dogs and seven puppies whose neglect and mutilation, respectively, allegedly violate MCL 750.50(2), which prohibits failures to provide animals with adequate care, and MCL 750.50b(2), which makes it a felony offense to mutilate animals. The move comes after a PETA undercover investigation revealed ongoing and unabated suffering inflicted on Jack Russell terriers, whom owner John D. Jones sells to the public.

Jennifer Williard, Catrina Roberts, Kelsey Brennaman, Brooke Rossi, Lauren Melchionda, Emily Rohr, and Sky Dawson have traveled from Arizona, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan in the hope of getting the sheriff to take action against this dog breeder. Another woman, Chandra Fuller, was arrested just moments ago (video here) after refusing to leave the foyer. And on Wednesday, Alexandra Shapardanis, was as well for refusing to leave the foyer, even though she had been told that the building remains open to the public 24 hours a day. Earlier in the day, Jones met with Sheriff Yancer at the office for some minutes but left all smiles and scoffed at the demonstrators.

Where:    JRT John’s Jack Russell Terriers, 8376 N. Pioneer Rd., Lake City, MI, 49651

Who:    Sheriff Wil Yancer

Photos and video of the ongoing protest, which began outside the sheriff’s office on Tuesday, are available here and here.

Among the findings of PETA’s investigation are the following:

  • Jones severed puppies’ tails with forceps and cut off their dewclaws with nail clippers, all 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 penned 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 windchill dropped to just 1 degree, their drinking water froze daily. Dogs 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 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.

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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