Walking outside a Lenox Township home on Gratiot, there is garbage and the stinging scent of animal feces. But what Macomb County Deputies found inside the house, allegedly owned by Robert Denys, 60, they said was more disturbing.
"A caller reported that they believed that there was animals inside the home that were not being cared for," says Lt. John Michalke.
After that neighbor's call Saturday night, police discovered a German shepherd, numerous cats, a horse and a sheep starving and abandoned, but still alive.
"Deputies looking through the windows could see animals wandering about, and it was apparent to them that there was no heat in the home," Michalke says.
But inside police also discovered four dead cats and, in the upstairs bedroom, the skeletal remains of a dog.
Denys was arrested immediately for animal cruelty and arraigned Tuesday as he pulled up to his home when police were still there.
He is charged with abandonment and cruelty to four to 10 animals. Neighbors say his horse, Hershey, could frequently be seen walking along Gratiot. They added that his dogs also wandered the property.
Denys told police he was well aware of the animal carcasses inside, but says he couldn't bury them because the ground was frozen.
"They found a home that was strewn with garbage and animal waste," Michalke says. "It's a disturbing situation."
Inside the home, which is now condemned, are frozen water bowls. Outside are empty bags of food and trash.
Animal control rescued the surviving animals, as police say they are thankful someone made that call for help.
"We encourage people who see animals that are outside in this brutal cold snap that we're going through, or anytime you see animals that are not being cared for properly, to call our department or your local police department and make them aware of the situation," Michalke says.
Denys faces two years in prison and is out on bond. He's due back in court March 4.