Couple Sentenced To Probation In Animal Hoarding Case

It was a case of animal hoarding in Van Buren County. Now the couple charged with animal neglect and cruelty for keeping over 100 dogs in their small home in Lawrence Township will get the help they need. Rather than jail, Melissa Copen and Donald Smith have been given two years on probation. During that period, they must not keep any pets in their home and have to seek psychiatric treatment for their hoarding syndrome, and do community service. Their home was raided and condemned in June after authorities got a look at what had happened. The animals were all seized, cleaned up, given shots and given away to new homes. The couple said they just wanted to help out animals that had nowhere else to go and it got out of hand.