JACKSON COUNTY, Mich. (WILX) -- A family was forced to make an easy, but unpleasant choice: give up your pets, or risk losing your kids.
Jackson County Animal Control removed more than 20 dogs and cats from a home, and now needs people to adopt them. Animal control says it wasn't a case of abuse, just too many living things under one roof.
"Arrived to find a litter of seven puppies, four adult dogs and about 16 cats," Animal Control Officer Shawn Lutz said.
The Jackson County Animal Shelter told News 10 the animals' conditions varied, but some were fighting over food. That made the environment less than ideal for raising the family's four children.
"They had to make a really tough decision because I know that they loved their animals. It was a matter of they had to give them up to create the environment that the kids would need to live in," Jackson County Animal Shelter Director Lydia Sattler said.
The shelter says although the situation might be sad, it's ultimately best for everyone involved.
"We don't know what lead up to that situation and we aren't here to judge them, but we definitely want to help. And in this situation, the alternative could be that they would lose their children," Sattler added.
There's no limit in Michigan to how many animals you can have in a home. Instead, it's a matter of how well they are taken care of. When owners can't, Animal Control has to step in.
"They're all going to have very good adoptable homes. They're all getting the best of care and attention here and, all in all, it's going to be a very happy ending for the animals as well as for the previous owners," Lutz said.
All of the animals taken in by the shelter are currently being checked out before they're put up for adoption, which should happen within the next few weeks. The shelter is asking people to adopt dogs and cats that were already there to make more room for the animals seized from the home.
For more information about adopting an animal from the Jackson County Animal Shelter, click here.