A dog being held as evidence in an alleged animal cruelty case that belongs to an elderly woman is being returned.

70-year-old Sharen Anne Kizer and 65-year-old Valerie Jay Cunnings, both of Howell, are facing charges of abandoning/cruelty to animals. The charges stem from violations found at Last Chance Rescue in Howell Township, where Kizer was the director and Cunnings was an employee. Livingston County Animal Control had received complaints about the facility’s conditions and care of animals. In December, Animal Control officers found violations that prompted them to seize about 120 animals. Animal Control Director Aimee Orn previously told WHMI when on scene, there were great concerns for the safety and well-being of the animals and they were not comfortable leaving them there.
Among the animals seized was a dog named Teddy that belongs to Sharen Kizer’s 96-year-old mother, Phyllis Main.

Kizer is being represented by Steven Lacommare in her criminal suit. Her former husband, Attorney Tom Kizer, filed a complaint and lawsuit on behalf of Main in Livingston County Circuit Court against Livingston County Animal Control and Livingston County seeking an injunction. Kizer alleged Animal Control refused to return the dog or referred to the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office to avoid return. Kizer says Main is elderly, widowed and missing her pet, which she rescued after her previous dog died. Kizer says the dog is licensed to Main but her daughter had been caring for the dog for a few hours on the day of the raid when Main was away from home.

Kizer tells WHMI Circuit Court Judge David Reader recently ordered the pet to be returned to Main. He says Animal Control can contest the transfer by the judge on May 10th if they choose and he will be interested in their response. (JM)