Ingham County family speaks out after dozens of animals are removed from property

“The money that it costs to get them back, I can’t afford it”
Officers said the animals were living in filthy conditions.
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 10:45 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2022 at 11:55 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter (ICACS) Officers removed more than 20 cats and more than 40 birds from a home in Leslie.

Officers said the animals were living in filthy conditions.

Background: Ingham County Animal Control seizes 22 cats, 44 birds from Leslie home

Officers did not go to this home on a complaint. They were responding to a report of a dog wandering around the area.

“We did take a number of chickens. Also included in the mix was a turkey. There’s some guinea fowl. We have a few ducks,” said ICACS Deputy Director, Dan Verhougstraete. “So quite a large assortment of birds that we took.”

Officers also removed 22 cats from inside and outside the home on Kinneville Road.

“The one in the house was checking around to see what we could do with the cats; good homes and all that stuff and it’s not a quick process. A lot of people don’t want cats. It just started from there,” said Timothy Lee Goddard.

Goddard looks after the animals with his stepson. He denies the animals were not being properly cared for and said they did not live in unsanitary conditions.

“My chickens are outside, they’re in a fenced-in area. I had to put a roof over it because – well fencing over it – so the predators don’t kill my animals,” said Goddard. “That’s my food source. I sell eggs to cover the feed. There’s always feed in there regardless.”

He said it wasn’t just the animals that were taken away – his income is gone too.

“I don’t know how the hell I’m going to pick myself up off this – I just don’t,” Goddard said. “Because now, it’s like taking one of your kids, taking my animals.”

ICACS said they will forward the results of their investigation to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office for possible charges.

“We will be asking him if he wants to surrender the birds. If they’re not surrendered, we’ll start a forfeiture process on that in conjunction with our criminal case,” said Verhougstraete.

ICACS said the animals have minor medical issues but will still need to go through medical evaluations to determine which treatments are needed. The shelter is asking for help with donations like cat litter, cat food, and chicken feed. More information on donations can be found on the official Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter website.

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