Live

Watch CBSN Live

More than 50 dogs rescued in Michigan puppy mill raid

MIO, Mich. -- Officials say more than 50 dogs have been seized from a home in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula during an animal cruelty investigation.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the dogs were removed from the home in Mio, about 165 miles northwest of Detroit, after unsanitary and overcrowded conditions were found. They range in age from puppies to adults.

The ASPCA says it's believed the dogs, which included English Bulldogs and Schnauzers, were being bred for sale and the operation wasn't licensed.

Tim Rickey, vice president of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response, tells MLive.com the overall conditions at the home were "just unacceptable."

"These dogs were living a very sad existence," Rickey told CBS Detroit.

The dogs, according to the ASPCA, "were living in small wire cages stacked in a crowded, filthy basement and in ramshackle outdoor pens." Most dogs allegedly had no access to food or water and were "unsocialized" -- meaning they clearly had not been handled much by humans.

"While the puppies at breeding facilities are sold for profit, their parents are often kept there for years, subjected to incessant breeding and typically lacking routine veterinary care and basic socialization, resulting in a very poor quality of life," Rickey said. "Our goal is to remove these dogs, help them become healthy, and find them homes once custody is determined by the court."

Oscoda County officials were at the home for more than eight hours Monday. The case is under investigation, and it is not clear if charges will be filed.