Hawks man arraigned in animal abuse case

ROGERS CITY – A Hawks man accused of failing to take care of 38 dogs seized from a Hawks residence by Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Deputies in January was arraigned in 89th District Court Tuesday.

Brandon Michael Thyrion, 20, was arraigned on a charge of animal cruelty to, or abandonment of, 10 or more animals, Criminal Clerk Christina Deletka said, referring to court files. It’s a felony punishable by up to four years in jail, a $5,000 fine, up to 500 hours of community service or any combination of these. If convicted, he could also be ordered to pay for the cost of veterinary care, housing for the seized animals or both.

Thyrion is accused of being hired to take care of the dogs but failing to do so, Presque Isle County Prosecutor Richard Steiger said. Steiger declined to comment further on the case.

Thyrion will be in court again on Feb. 18 for a preliminary examination, Deletka said. A public defender will be appointed on his behalf.

Deputies seized 38 dogs and two roosters on Jan. 29, according to a release from the department. Veterinarian Laurie Jackowiak and Cheboygan County Humane Society Director Mary Talaske were involved with the seizure, and said they found the animals in bad shape. The dogs were being kept in an indoor kennel with a space heater that had run out of fuel, so the building was unheated at the time. The dogs had no apparent food and frozen water.

Deputies and the two women also found nine dead puppies and a dead adult dog, Talaske said. A tenth puppy survived.

Talaske said it was obvious that no one had been to the kennel to care for the animals in some time.

Around half of the dogs had a body condition score of one, Jackowiak said. She used a scoring system created by The Ohio State University that scores animals one to five, five meaning the animal is obese. A score of one means the dogs are emaciated, and photographs of two of the seized canines shows their ribs and hip bones sticking out.

The dogs are being nursed back to health at the humane society, and by Jackowiak and other volunteers, she said.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.