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MIssaukee County man found not guilty on all counts in kennel and animal cruelty case | New

LAKE CITY – A 72-year-old Lake City man was recently found not guilty by a jury of his peers in Missaukee County’s 28th Circuit Court on multiple charges of animal cruelty and operating an illegal kennel. .

John Delmer Jones was found not guilty on charges stemming from two separate cases, including animal abandonment/cruelty of 25 or more animals, dog kennel facility violations, two counts of unauthorized exercise by a medical professional and two counts of assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer. . The alleged charges stemmed from incidents that occurred between October 12, 2021 and January 7, 2022 in Pioneer Township.

Wexford-Missaukee’s Chief Public Defender, Robert Champion, was Jones’ legal counsel and he said what you had, in this case, was that PETA was using an out-of-state person to “investigate on Jones and was trying to find a reason to shut down his kennel. .

“Then they lobbied the sheriff’s office, the district attorney, and tried to influence the jurors by sending things in the mail,” Champion said. “I had to file a motion for a change of venue to make sure everything was okay. Missaukee County did a great job and the prosecutor did a great job. I can’t say the same for PETA.

Champion said PETA’s investigation stemmed from an out-of-state PETA employee who responded to an ad from Jones asking for help with his kennel. He said the PETA employee responded to the ad and worked for Jones for 12 weeks collecting evidence to end his practices.

All of the dogs that were seized from Jones were considered healthy, and Champion said his client had a kennel license that expired Dec. 31, 2021.

“Mr. Jones was always trying to do the right thing,” Champion said.

Missaukee County District Attorney David DenHouten said his office was disappointed with the verdict but respected the service and the jury’s decision.

In an emailed comment, PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden said: “Any reasonable person would agree that cutting and twisting the tails of puppies and cutting their dewclaws with nail clippers as the puppies howled in pain and drove off small, short-haired dogs penned outside in sub-freezing temperatures, snow and mud with no water. These dogs are a great example of why PETA is urging everyone to avoid pet stores and puppy mills and adopt from a shelter or adoption agency instead.Thanks to PETA and animal control agencies in the counties of Grand Traverse, Wexford, Clare and Roscommon, Jones’ victims are now thriving in loving homes.

On January 7, the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office assisted animal control agencies in counties Clare, Grand Traverse, Roscommon and Wexford in seizing approximately 40 dogs from Jones’ kennel.

On March 4, Jones was ordered by the court to confiscate the 39 Jack Russell Terriers seized on January 7 from animal control or welfare shelters unless he can deposit $40,000 72 hours after the hearing. If he was able to pay the $40,000 or other security to the Missaukee County Clerk, court documents said the animals would not be forfeited.

The unconfiscated lone dog was Jones’ dog and that animal remained with Traverse City Animal Control until Jones’ link was changed in March. In March, it was noted that Jones had not paid the $40,000, so the animals were confiscated.

Champion said it was unfortunate that a special interest group tried to influence the outcome of this situation. He also said that with these confiscated dogs, he was unsure if Jones was going to restart his kennel.

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