Prosecutor rules after whistleblower claims couple runs puppy mi - WNEM TV 5

Prosecutor rules after whistleblower claims couple runs puppy mill

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Firing back at accusations she neglected her animals, Linda Holzhausen defends the state of her home.

"I'm not a puppy mill!" Holzhausen said.

Now the Sanilac County Prosecutor's Office reports they will not be issuing criminal charges against Holzhausen or her husband, Daryl, at this time.

In November the Sanilac County Sheriff's Office removed 28 puppies and six adult female dogs from this house on Huron Line Road.

"I didn't even have hardly any puppies this past summer. I breed my dogs once a year. They have two litters, then I either place them or fix them," Holzhausen said.

But Michael Depatty, who says he blew the whistle that got the Holzhausens in trouble, tells a different story.

"I found out after about two months of being there they were actually running a puppy mill. They would buy and sell animals without proper licenses and permits and such," Depatty said.

Depatty was living and apparently working for the Holzhausens.

But that relationship soon soured.

The Holzhausens said Depatty set them up to make it look like the animals were living in poor conditions.

Those are charges he refutes.

"Nothing was staged. It's all legitimate pictures. You can go there at 7 o’clock in the morning and it will look the same way it does now," Depatty said.

Holzhausen said the whole process has been agonizing.

Both sides said they want what's best for the animals.

"I wish they would just give me my babies back," Holzhausen said.

The Sanilac County Prosecutor now says that there was no evidence any animal had been physically abused. Nor that there was evidence that they had been deprived of care that reached the level of criminal neglect.

Officials do say that an Animal Control officer, and investigating officers developed a list of expectations, and presented it to the Holzhausens, a list the couple agreed to. The prosecutor's office says they will continue to work to ensure all of the animals are provided appropriate care in the future.

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