Neglected animals taken from Horger house

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Police officers and a Dearborn Animal Shelter official removed two dogs and a bird about 4 a.m. Oct. 10 from a house in the 5200 block of Horger considered “not fit for human or animal occupancy,” according to a police report.

Police Officer Ray Burgess and Dearborn’s animal control officer, Al Ostrowski, went to collect two dogs, a German shepherd and chow, from the house while Dearborn Animal Shelter Manager Heather Mehi removed the bird, a macaw, after a rescue crew transported the homeowner to a hospital on Oct. 9, according to the police report. The officials took the animals to the shelter.

Dearborn Animal Shelter Public Relations Spokesperson Sandy Boulton said the animals are being taken care of at the shelter; the bird is with a local rescue group because the shelter does not have long-term means to care for birds. Boulton could not confirm the name of the rescue group.

“They are in our care at the moment,” Boulton said. “(They are) being cared for, fed (and) observed to make sure everything is fine.”

Boulton said she doesn’t have any further information about the dogs or their health status.

According to the report, there was a foul smell emanating from the house, and the steps leading into the house were deteriorated. The entryway also was filled with debris and belongings.

On the outside front part of the house the officers noticed a broken window, and while outside a female German shepherd came outside while the other dog stayed inside the house and barked at the officers.

Ostrowski put the German shepherd, described as emaciated, dehydrated and fearful, in the back of his animal control truck.

Burgess removed the second dog, described as emaciated, dehydrated with severely matted fur and severe dermatitis on his rear and side, in the back of the truck.

The bird, described as severely emaciated and dehydrated, did not have any water in its cage, described as “filthy” and without “necessary implements needed by a macaw,” in the report.

Burgess said every room, including the basement, had large amounts of debris, belongings and years of dirt.

“There was not much room to move about in the house,” Burgess said in the report. “There were several areas with urine and feces traces. The home is clearly not fit for human or animal occupancy.”

It is unclear why the owner, whose name has not been released, is in the hospital or if the owner will have access to the animals again.

Police Chief Ronald Haddad did not return phone calls by press time.

(Sherri Kolade can be reached at