Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shelter leader has pet neglect history

By Ken Kolker

The woman who helped lead the rescue of more than 350 dogs in what was called Michigan's biggest animal hoarding case has a history of animal neglect allegations at her Grand Rapids home, Target 8 has learned. 
In fact, the latest investigation in October 2011 into conditions at Julie Kowal's home led to three civil infractions and the euthanization of three dogs in her care. 
Kowal is also the administrator at the Allegan County Animal Shelter. 
The October investigation by Kent County Animal Control started when several pit bulls escaped from Kowal's home at 718 Veto Street NW.

fficers found the door wide open and nobody home. They also found feces littering the home. 
"I stood in the doorway and looked inside and I saw that the floor was filled with fecal matter everywhere, and there was debris and household items scattered everywhere," an investigator wrote in a case report. 
Three of the dogs had suffered injuries, including one with a bitten off right ear, investigators reported.
--Warning: Some of the above photos and those in the accompanying photo gallery are graphic.--
The investigation led to three civil infractions againstKowal for allowing dogs to run free, filthy conditions and not providing proper veterinary care. It also led to the euthanization, county health officials said. 
"I told Julie that the expectation level of care and keeping of animals for her was even higher given that she runs a rescue and she is supposedly helping dogs live a better life," an investigator wrote. 
Kowal told investigators the dogs must have been injured while running loose, but records show at least one of the injuries was infected. 
"If she is working around animals for her actual day-to-day career-type job, you would expect someone to know what kinds of things need to be taken care of inside the house, what kind of treatment you should get for a dog if it's injured," said Kent County Health Department spokeswoman Lisa LaPlante
The investigation was the sixth in five years into animal complaints against Kowal at her home. At least one other led to civil infractions for not licensing the dogs. Most involved complaints of alleged filthy conditions and foul smells. Some were filed by neighbors..." More & video

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