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Owner of Muskegon Animal Sanctuary in court over 47 unlicensed wolf dogs


Howling Timbers also faces criminal charges after animal bit young girl's arm off.

The owner of a Muskegon-based, exotic animal sanctuary is in court facing both civil and criminal charges for housing 47 wolf-dogs, one of which ripped off the arm of a young girl.

Authorities say the owner of Howling Timbers Animal Sanctuary, Brenda Pearson, doesn’t have a license for the wolf dogs, as well as the coyotes, turtles and other exotic animals that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says it needs.

According to the DNR, when officers attempted to issue a search warrant for the sanctuary, that is when law enforcement learned that one of the wolf -dogs had bit Pearson’s granddaughters arm off, as well as injured one of the sanctuary’s staff.

Phone calls to Howling Timbers and Pearson were not returned, but the sanctuary has been vocal on social media, calling the civil and criminal charges quote “an atrocity” and claiming the Muskegon Prosecutor’s office “will have blood on their hands” if the courts rule that the 47 wolf dogs must be euthanized, while an online petition began circulating on social media Monday in support of the sanctuary.

Meanwhile the Muskegon Prosecutor’s office says, this is not about killing wolf dogs or animal rights. Prosecutor DJ Hilson issued this statement in part,

“There has been false information and false claims made on social media about a pending court case involving animals in the custody of a local Muskegon County Defendant…our office is not seeking or requesting to kill any animals. On the contrary, our office is advocating for the safe, legal and appropriate care of all animals.

Monday marked the first day of court in the civil case against Howling Timbers. The criminal case has yet to begin.