Despite public outcry, Animal Control says Wor. Co. breeder can keep his dogs

POCOMOKE CITY, Md.  – Despite the shares on Facebook and calls to county commissioners and the county state’s attorney from concerned residents, Michael Parrett will keep his dogs.

Last week the Australian Shepherd breeder who lives in Pocomoke City, Md. was thrust into the public eye when photos surfaced on Facebook about the conditions his dogs were living in.

Commenters raised allegations that some of the dogs were sick or malnourished. They also said Worcester County Animal Control had cited Parrett for the conditions the dogs were living in.

Parrett confirmed to 47 ABC on Monday that he had received 10 citations from Animal Control for things like improper tethering and improper sheltering.  He says the improper tethering citation was because he was using chains for some dogs instead of wires, which is against code. However, he adds that he was only using the chains temporarily because the wires had broken.

On Tuesday Animal Control returned to Parrett’s property for a follow-up on the citations and after an inspection, found him in full compliance, contrary to the rumors spread online.

“We cannot take any of the dogs away. Like I said, the dogs are healthy he is in accordance with the Worcester county law so he’s in no danger,” said Wayne Young, assistant chief for Worcester County Animal Control.

For Parrett, he says he’s not mad at Animal Control but believes his name has been slandered online.

“I’m not trying to buck what’s supposed to be done, I know it’s a lot of responsibility. I’ve had a lot of things going on here. I’m trying, I’m doing the best I can as fast as I can,” Parrett said.

But the best he can still isn’t enough for animal rights advocates like Ferrell Santacroce, who visited the property herself.

“Looking at the conditions they were in was not good from my point of view,  the kennels and the dogs being chained up outside, some of the dogs didn’t have adequate shelter,” Santacroce said.

From the looks alone Parrett’s set up does raise questions. Some dogs are let loose to run around in the yard, while others are tethered to their kennels using cables. Dry dog food is stored in a dryer that’s outside.

But Parrett has an explanation for it all, certain dogs are tethered because they’re more prone to escape because they’re able to jump over the fence.  The dryer is used to store food because it’s waterproof. On top of that, all the dogs seem to love Parrett and he loves them back.

And at the end of the day, he’s not doing anything in violation of the law, but that’s where advocates say there needs to be a change.

“The dogs would need more adequate shelter, something other than three plywood pieces put together,” Santacroce said.

She adds that the rules in Worcester County need to be more strict and her solution is that all those people commenting and sharing the Facebook post, take action and call their county commissioners and state delegates.

“People that look at all these photos online as much as they make you sick, do they make you sick enough to go do something about it,” said Ferrell.

Categories: Local News, Maryland