Dearborn_ChiThis horrific story is out of Dearborn, MI, where the finding of a single kitten led to the rescue of approximately 110 little Chihuahuas living in deplorable conditions and over 150 more were found stuffed in freezers in the basement and throughout 56-year-old Kenneth Lang Jr.’s Orchard Avenue home.

Last Monday a child alerted a woman who was working in the area about a “rat” lying in the grass by Lang’s house. Upon inspection the “rat” turned out to be a tiny kitten. The woman, Linda Shank, hear more kittens and tried to get Lang to turn them over to her but he wouldn’t. Concerned, she called Animal Control.

Animal Control Officer, Jenny Jackson, eventually got Lang to hand over the four kittens living under a lawnmower in his yard but Jackson also heard dogs. Inquiring, Lang pulled out a sick, feces covered Chihuahua that was in a little doghouse, its entrance covered by a board and brick. When asked, Lang told her that there were a few more in the house but refused her entrance.

On Tuesday and Wednesday he refused to answer the door or let officer in the house and on Wednesday, officers had had enough after noticing the overwhelming stench coming from the house. This time when they left, they obtained a warrant and returned to the house only to discover hell inside.

They removed 42 sick Chihuahua on Wednesday, came back on Thursday and found over 60 more and on Friday they discovered the freezers with an estimated over 150 dead Chihuahuas. A total of 112 live dogs were found and authorities counted at least 151 dead ones. Traps have been set up in the house to try to round up any remaining dogs.

The dogs, dirty and feces covered, many of them sick, were taken to Dearborn Animal Shelter where they will be ready for adoption within about a week or when they’re recovered. Application to adopt the rescued dogs have already poured into the shelter as have some donations and goods to care for the dogs.

Lang was taken to the hospital on Wednesday but later moved to an unnamed psychiatric facility and could be facing numerous animal cruelty charges.

James Schmier, a Birmingham criminal attorney hired by Lang’s family, says Lang needs therapy. Schimer says he was told by Lang’s family that Lang has been plagued with obsessive compulsive order since his 20s and has never held more than odd jobs and lived on $500 a month disability payments. An odd point is that although medical bills are said to have used over half his monthly disability payment, the outside of his house was immaculate and there were four cars in near mint-condition there.

It seems the dog situation probably started with just a couple that were allowed to breed out of control and over time the number just continued to multiply. It’s said that Lang didn’t want to take them to a shelter for fear of them being euthanized so in the end the dogs lived in a mountain of filth and feces inside the 1300 sq ft house… until a single kitten and a concerned citizen finally pushed the right buttons to get help there. We can also be thankful for determined animal control officers that didn’t just let the situation go but followed up and followed up until the dogs were rescued.

Aside from the horror of the dogs, what is so sad is that its obvious Lang’s family knew he had problems but didn’t intervene or do anything until it was too late and now they’ve hired a mouthpiece to try to keep Lang out of further trouble. This is a sad but very classic hoarding case and there’s no doubt the Lang needs help, serious help. He needs to face the criminal charges and he needs to have no further contact with animals.

Thankfully the dogs that were rescued will find homes and have a chance to experience life the way they should. What a sad, sad story….

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