Defendant gives up rights to animals seized in Delta County 'puppy mill' case

Jan 11, 2021

ESCANABA, MI--   The owner of an alleged puppy mill in Rock has forfeited her right to more than 200 dogs and horses to the Delta Animal Shelter.

Credit Delta Animal Shelter

Rebecca Johnson was charged in December with felony abandoning/cruelty to 25 or more animals and a misdemeanor charge of running an unregistered shelter or pound. An investigation was initiated at her Maple Ridge Township residence August 24 when a Michigan State Police trooper discovered a horse running loose. Officials brought 134 dogs, many of them pregnant, and 18 horses to the Delta Animal Shelter in Escanaba for evaluation and medical treatment.

A total of 216 dogs, puppies and horses are currently being cared for at the shelter. The Delta County Prosecutor’s Office had filed a civil forfeiture in 94th District Court against Johnson, but during the hearing Monday she agreed to give up all rights to the animals rather than contest the forfeiture action. That means the animals are immediately available for adoption. The Delta Animal Shelter will provide information about the adoption process and availability of the dogs and horses on its Facebook and Instagram pages.

Johnson faces up to seven years in prison on the felony charge and up to 90 days for the misdemeanor. A preliminary exam is set for January 22 in Delta County District Court.