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Delta Animal Shelter granted dogs, horses from Rock animal cruelty case

Rebecca Sue Johnson of Rock forfeited her rights to all dogs and horses to the shelter Monday.
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 10:35 AM EST
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - The Delta Animal Shelter has been granted the rights of all of the dogs and horses seized, including all animals born after the seizure, from a Maple Ridge Township home last August.

“We’re all just celebrating. We’re hugging each other, we’re loving up these pups, talking to the horse folks. We’re just happy,” said Susan Gartland, director of Delta Animal Shelter.

In Delta County District Court Monday morning, Rebecca Sue Johnson of Rock forfeited her rights to all dogs and horses to the shelter. The animals were seized by the Michigan State Police, and local foster homes have been caring for the animals since then.

The Delta County Prosecutor’s Office filed a civil forfeiture against Johnson so all of the animals could be adopted. The Michigan State Police seized 134 dogs, 11 miniature horses, and seven horses from the property. According to Delta Animal Shelter, after all the births, there are 217 dogs and 23 horses.

The prosecutor’s office says Monday’s action means all of the animals can be immediately made available for adoption, however the Delta Animal Shelter says there are still steps to go through. The shelter has not announced any further details about the adoption process for these animals.

“All the animals will have to be spayed, neutered, completed with their vaccinations, heartworm tested, etc. So, there’s a lot of logistical planning in getting them ready for adoption,” said Gartland.

Today Rebecca Sue Johnson of Rock forfeited her rights to all dogs and horses to the Delta Animal Shelter. ❤️❤️

Posted by Delta Animal Shelter on Monday, January 11, 2021

Johnson faces a felony for abandonment/animal cruelty to 25 or more animals. She faces up to seven years in prison for that charge. She also faces a misdemeanor unregistered animal shelter charge, which is punishable by up to 90 days in jail. She’s due back in court Jan. 22.

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