CHESHIRE TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Health officials have condemned a feces-filled and urine-soaked mobile home inhabited by a 68-year-old woman, her 22-year-old daughter and their 66 cats and dogs.
The animals, 39 adult dogs, 14 puppies and 13 cats, were found caked in fecal matter. The floors and furniture inside the doublewide trailer were covered with up to three inches of animal waste, animal rescue volunteers said.
The women, whose names were not released, faced the possibility of criminal charges. Authorities described them as animal lovers who were simply overwhelmed by the rapid growth of their menagerie.
Sixteen animals were removed Monday from the Cheshire Township home and the rest were taken away on Wednesday, Allegan County sheriff's Deputy Tim Halstead told The Holland Sentinel for a story published Friday. The rural township is about 35 miles southwest of Grand Rapids.
The dogs and cats ranged in age from a few days to a few years. Two Holland-area veterinarians who cleaned and examined the animals said most appeared to be in good health.
The Allegan County Health Department condemned the mobile home Wednesday because it has a broken well and no running water, said Ben Williams, a county environmental health worker. It also does not have a working furnace.
The trailer most likely will have to be demolished, sheriff's Lt. Scott Matice told The Grand Rapids Press. The women are staying with relatives while the animals are quarantined at the Allegan County Animal Shelter and an Ottawa County veterinary hospital.
Halstead said the older woman told him she originally had four dogs before they started breeding. "The problem just got away from them," he said.
The mother and daughter became used to having their clothing, especially the lower parts of their pants, covered in feces. The women shared a bed, also covered with animal waste, and protected themselves from the filth by wearing heavy jackets and pants at night, deputies said.