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Farmington Hills kennel owner charged with animal neglect

A Farmington Hills kennel operator, long at odds with local authorities over complaints about his business, was arrested Monday in Livonia on four counts of animal neglect.

Mary Gabriel, owner of Golden Dog Kennel on Rollcrest Road in Farmington Hills, appeared before 16th District Judge Sean Kavanagh on four counts of animal neglect and four counts of keeping dogs without a license. Gabriel, 74, pleaded not guilty to all eight offenses and was given $1,000 personal bond pending a preliminary hearing on October 23.

Oakland County Animal Control has already refused to renew the kennel’s operating license, following an inspection in June in which a veterinary technician determined that nine dogs on the property needed medical attention. The county at the time gave Gabriel a November 8 deadline to close the business, giving her the opportunity to sell 16 dogs she had on the property.

Now she only has 10 dogs. His attorney, Colleen Murphy, said her client was complying with the county’s order to shut down the business in November and “it’s only a matter of time” before the remaining dogs are placed in new homes. new homes. Murphy also said his client was in the process of moving from Farmington Hills to Rose Township.

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After the arraignment, Gabriel and Murphy declined to comment on the case. Gabriel’s website says she has been breeding and showing golden retrievers for 15 years.

Defendant Mary K Gabriel stands before Judge Sean P Kananagh with her attorney, Colleen Murphy.

Livonia authorities also refused to discuss the case, except to acknowledge that Gabriel had taken four dogs from his kennel and brought them to a private residence in Livonia for safekeeping. When police carried out a welfare check on the animals, they found them to be in poor condition, leading to misdemeanor charges.

Livonia’s owner who agreed to keep the four dogs faces similar charges. Authorities say the resident did not appear in court on Monday and now has a warrant for her arrest.

Linda Racey, a Farmington Hills resident who lives three lots away from Gabriel on Rollcrest Road, attended Monday’s court proceedings. Afterwards, Racey said she had been trying for years to get the kennel shut down.

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“You can hear these dogs barking day and night,” Racey said. “I’m passionate about dogs… someone has to be a voice for these beautiful animals.”

Karen Irwin also attended the arraignment. The Plymouth Township resident started working for Gabriel in 2013 after buying him two dogs.

“The first night I came home from working there I found a chip on my face,” she said outside the courtroom.

Irwin said she soon began taking photos of Gabriel’s home and outdoor kennels to document the poor conditions, which led her to file a complaint with Oakland County Animal Control. She lasted about two months on the job.

In a police report filed in July, a Farmington Hills police officer inspecting the property described the upstairs of Gabriel’s home as being in deplorable condition, with bugs all over the kitchen and pets soaked in feces and urine. He counted 48 dogs on the property.

Farmington Hills officials say they’ve struggled with the kennel for years and are relieved to hear it’s closing. Oakland County animal control officials also said Gabriel has been on the county’s radar for years due to numerous complaints.

Racey and Irwin said they plan to follow the trial to ensure the dogs end up in a safe place.

“Golden Retrievers are the most adoptable dogs on the planet,” Racey said. “There are a ton of rescue groups that would take them in a heartbeat.”


Twitter: @BhmEccentric

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