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Puppy mill case in Delta County court

ESCANABA — A Maple Ridge Township woman was arraigned Friday on charges related to an alleged puppy mill she was running on her property.

Rebecca Sue Johnson pleaded not guilty to felony abandoning/cruelty to 25 or more animals, a charge punishable by up to seven years in prison. She also pleaded not guilty to animal shelters/pounds — unregistered, a misdemeanor publishable by up to 90 days in jail.

On Aug. 24, Michigan State Police, the Delta County Sheriff’s Office and the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office conducted an investigation at a residence located in Maple Ridge Township in Delta County that ultimately resulted in the seizure of 134 dogs and 20 horses.

Since their seizure in August, the animals were taken into the care of the Delta Animal Shelter. Michigan State Police, as well as the Delta Animal Shelter, have conducted extensive medical evaluations and examinations of each individual animal seized. Since the initial seizure, around 100 puppies have born to dogs at the Delta Animal Shelter.

On Nov. 23, Johnson posted a $60,000 cash or surety bond, releasing her from jail. She is not allowed to purchase, possess or care for animals.

A probable cause conference was set Friday for Dec. 17, and a preliminary examination was set for Jan. 11.

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