John D. Jones, a Jack Russell terrier breeder from Michigan, US, has been charged with a felony count of cruelty-to-animals and three misdemeanour counts of violating other animal protection laws after PETA’s investigators uncovered extreme abuse and neglect. 

PETA recorded video footage of Jones severing puppies’ tails without anaesthetics and leaving small, shorthaired dogs penned outside in the sub-freezing cold. One dog was found frozen after dying overnight. In the state of Michigan — which is very cold during winter — it’s illegal to deny animals adequate care and to mutilate them.

PETA supporters occupied the foyer of the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office for four days, appealing the sheriff’s failure to take action. Eventually, on January 7th 2022, Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office seized 40 dogs kept outside by Jones in below-freezing temperatures. All dogs are now in a safe, warm place with ample food, bedding, water, toys, and good care. 

Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA Senior Vice President, said: “John Jones mutilated puppies and left dozens of dogs to suffer in barren pens in the freezing cold so charges against him should stick and stick hard. PETA looks to the prosecutor to prevent more dogs from suffering in this serial abuser’s hands by seeking a lifelong ban on possessing animals and urges the public to never shop, but adopt.” 

This is the third time law-enforcement authorities have confiscated dogs from Jones. Firstly, by 2008, about 85 dogs had been seized from him in Barry County, Michigan, and secondly, in 2013, at least 165 dogs in Missaukee County. It’s hard to believe how he is still allowed to keep any dogs and the authorities have not barred him for life from being licensed to breed animals. Hopefully, this will change if he is found guilty of all charges.