A child's last moment with a dog at the vet before it is put down.
Photo via Getty

An investigation has begun regarding the dogs who were found in a garage at Aaron Moishe Cemetery in Roseville.

By Stacy Gittleman

Macomb and Oakland County animal control officers are investigating why dozens of dogs were kept in a garage at the Aaron Moishe Cemetery in Roseville. They found 33 dogs there and, on Monday, nine more dogs were found at the West Bloomfield residence of a 51-year old woman.

“It’s too early in the investigation to determine whether any laws were broken, but we are working with Macomb County to get a clearer picture about the conditions under which the dogs were kept,” said Bob Gatt, manager of the Oakland County Animal Shelter & Pet Adoption Center. “Meanwhile, our veterinary staff are evaluating the health of these nine dogs to determine what our next steps will be.”

Oakland County authorities pointed out state law does not require a license to operate an animal rescue. Local ordinances, however, determine how many and what kind of animals may be kept on a property.

Calls made by JN staff to the cemetery, also known as Beth Ahm Park, were unsuccessful because the number was no longer in service.

Local news reports from WXYZ-TV and WWJ radio say a passerby alerted Macomb County authorities to the situation at the cemetery. Police say those dogs were held in various cages and needed immediate attention due to conditions in the garage. Additional tips led Oakland County authorities to the woman’s rental residence at a home on the corner of Walnut and Orchard Lake roads.

The woman is cooperating with investigators and said she is running an animal rescue operation. Criminal charges are possible if authorities believe the dogs were abused or neglected, but none had been filed by Monday evening.

Patty Trevino of the River Rouge Animal Shelter told WWJ that local rescue groups are now scrambling to help the seized dogs. She believes greater oversight is needed for well-meaning people who start their own animal rescues and become overwhelmed. “It’s just becoming too frequent, and it’s going to be damaging; not only to the dogs or cats that are in that situation, but the bigger issue of what it does to reputable rescues. It casts doubt on them,” Trevino said.