Deborah Lynn Hosler, 47, of Petersburg was arraigned Friday in Lenawee County District Court on one count of felony abuse or neglect of animals. It is punishable by up to four years in prison.
Her personal recognizance bond was modified to require that she find people to take care of the six dogs she still has at home — five Siberian Huskies and an English mastiff — while the case proceeds.
District Judge Jonathan L. Poer originally gave her three days to place the dogs with others, but after consulting with Hosler’s attorney, Rhonda Underwood of the Lenawee County Public Defender’s Office, and Lenawee County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Scott Baker, Poer agreed to order her to find new homes for the dogs by the time of her preliminary examination, 1 p.m. on Feb. 6.
“We have serious concerns about the animals in her care and custody,” Baker told Poer.
Through Underwood, Hosler agreed to forfeit the abandoned Huskies. Baker told the court that the law allows for a civil forfeiture in cases like this, and Poer said he would sign an order allowing the dogs to be adopted out.
New homes have been found for all of the dogs, according to a news release from the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department.
The investigation started after Lenawee County Central Dispatch began receiving several calls of huskies running loose in the area of Academy Road and North Wilmoth Highway, the news release said.
With the help of residents in the area, all but one of the dogs was rounded up and taken to be cared for at various locations. The one that wasn’t had been struck and killed by a vehicle.
According to the news release, Debbie Lynn Hosler admitted to investigators on Jan. 4 that she transported the 15 huskies to Lenawee County and released them in a rural area after her kennel in Petersburg was closed in September. She said she feared the huskies would be destroyed and she could no longer afford to house them, the news release said.