LIGONIER, Ind. (WANE) – It began when a neighbor called police Tuesday evening to complain about two dogs fighting next door. That call led officials to remove 16 dogs and two cats from the home in Ligonier.
According to a police report, officers arrived at the 500 block of Grand Street where they saw a white pit bull mix attacking another pit bull mix, both in the same cage. Police said a chocolate lab and a white and black dog were also in the cage. The white pit bull mix had the other dog on the ground and was biting it around the neck.
As police were preparing to euthanize the white pit bull because it kept attacking the other dog, officers say the owner of the house, Keith Mclaughlin, arrived and told police that it was his home and the white pit bull belonged to his brother, Robert Rupert. The dog being attacked belonged to Mclaughlin.
The Humane Society of Noble County was called in and took possession of seven dogs, nine pit bull mix puppies, and two cats. Police said they also filed a dog bite report.
Jennifer Getts with the Humane Society of Noble County said Ligonier has no law restricting the number of animals a homeowner can have. Getts said the dogs were removed from the home because of their health conditions and potential danger to the area, since there was a child living in the same property.
“[Officials] felt it in the best interest of everyone, including the animals — they were dirty, had a little bit of water but not…humane care in our opinion,” Getts said. “That’s when they asked us to remove them.”
Inside the Noble County shelter Friday, caution signs marked the cages of three pit bull mixes removed from the home. Getts said one of the animals is extremely aggressive. The nine pit bull mix puppies received flea baths Friday afternoon.
Potential charges are still pending against the dogs’ owners. Getts said if the homeowners want their animals back, they would have to get a court order, vaccinate the dogs, and provide better living conditions. If not, the dogs will be made available for adoption after 10 days. Getts is hoping for the latter.
“I don’t think that any responsibility was shown on the part of the owners,” Getts said. “In this particular case, there was no reason to have that many animals in that property and especially to be outside.”