County Antrim Animal Control cares for 200 animals rescued from Central Lake Home

Hundreds of animals discovered in a Central Lake home last week, some found dead in a freezer in the home.

Now Antrim County Animal Control says they are doing everything they can to help keep the animals alive.

“We just try to make all the animals comfortable and place them and provide them with the care they need,” said County Antrim Animal Control Officer Heather Belknap.

There were over 200 animals rescued from the home.

“We have snakes, turtles, tortoises, lizards, rats, mice, chickens, ducks,” Belknap said. “Rabbits of different breeds, dogs and a few cats, and a horse.”

County Antrim Animal Control staff are reduced – two full-time officers and one part-time employee.

They took the 200 animals to the shelter.

“We manage it pretty well considering the small staff, and we have families and stuff, and we take care of our own animals as well,” Belknap said. “With the two of us and our experience, if we have a problem or something, we have vets that we can contact.”

Belknap has a history with reptiles and turtles, while the other officer, Inga Waldrep, has experience with livestock and farm animals.

“They just worked tirelessly to make sure everything was done right,” County Antrim Sheriff Daniel Bean said. “They were taking way over 36-40 hours the first day this all started. They come to work at 8 am not expecting something like this to happen.

Sheriff Bean said they are still investigating the matter and are still trying to determine which animals are still in the freezer.

“We had necropsies, like an autopsy,” Sheriff Bean said. “Some of these results are starting to come in. There’s been a lot of follow-up.”

Sheriff Bean says this case was heartbreaking.

“Animals can’t cry for help, I think it’s up to us,” he said. “We have all dealt with neglect and abuse cases for years, everyone does it, every county has it. You have someone who can’t take care of an animal – it’s just ridiculous what happened here with that. I hope this goes in front of a jury because I really think this stuff needs to stop…and it’s the only way to go.

Belknap said they are optimistic for the future of these animals.

“We had a few reptiles where at first we weren’t sure [would survive], but we were just cheering this morning because one of them finally swallowed his meal,” she said. “She seems to be doing great now, so it was good because we were worried about that.”

Animal Control is looking for item donations to help them care for the abundance of animals they have rescued, especially the reptiles they care for.

You can find a list of items to donate here.

Donations can also be dropped off in person at the front door.

Updates on Brooklyn Beck and Michael Turland

Brooklynn Beck, who lived in the home where the 200 animals were found, was charged with animal cruelty and released from County Antrim Jail on Sunday.

Her fiancé, Michael Turland, faces similar animal cruelty charges in Arizona.

He was in court on April 29 for a preliminary hearing.

The Mojave County prosecutor said his case has been forwarded to higher court.

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