Montcalm County Animal Control shuts down dog breeder

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 11:12 am on Tuesday, April 01, 2014

REYNOLDS TOWNSHIP — Renee Suchil’s home-based dog breeding business has been shut down — again.

Suchil started her business, advertised on her website as “Pixie Puppies: Unique Designer Hybrid Puppies just for YOU!!!,” in Kent County’s Solon Township. She was shut down there in 2012 after her neighbors alleged she was running a “puppy mill,” according to a WZZM TV 13 report that year.

Solon Township’s ordinance allows for three dogs per household. Suchil had 56 — 30 dogs and 26 puppies.

After being cited for running an illegal kennel, Suchil moved to Montcalm County to resume her business. However, Kent County officials notified Montcalm County Animal Control that Suchil had relocated to that county.

According to Montcalm County Animal Control Director Angela Hollinshead, Montcalm County does not have a countywide dog limit ordinance that’s enforced, but a Reynolds Township ordinance only allows three dogs per home unless a dog owner has a kennel license.

Since Suchil had almost 100 dogs on her property, Montcalm County Animal Control officials told her she must obtain a kennel license in order to operate her business. Suchil didn’t pass the first inspection … or the second. She was given two options — surrender all her dogs, or be given a citation for each dog for not having a license.

Suchil chose the first option. As a result, almost 100 dogs were removed from her home at 20457 Tamarack Road near Howard City.

According to Autumn DeVries, a kennel attendant with Montcalm County Animal Control, officials from Lake Haven Rescue in Newaygo began removing dogs and puppies from Suchil’s home in January and February. Montcalm County Animal Control officials finished the job last Thursday, taking the remaining 56 dogs and puppies from Suchil’s home.

Because Suchil relinquished all the dogs, she will not be facing any criminal charges, according to DeVries.

“It’s resolved,” DeVries said. She released all the dogs to the rescue so it’s resolved.”


“I have cried more tears than you can imagine”

Suchil, who is currently on vacation in Florida, responded to an email from The Daily News seeking comment by directing The Daily News to her website,

“Well it is with COMPLETE DEVISTATION (sic) that I have to say that I did NOT pass my kennel inspection,” Suchil posted. “We put in 4 kennel cages all the dogs were out there in the Pole Barn … Pellet Stove … Vent Fan … The moms safe and warm in the house. It was a BIG FAT NO??? Nothing I could do with out charges being pressed warrants etc. all over again :(

“I had a Kennel Ordinance Sheet I was going from and it was very vague … now I found out that there is another sheet with specifics? OMG I truly didn’t know that and do not have it but its (sic) his word against mine :(

“I emailed every other day for 2 weeks begging for more clarification … didn’t get much! Now I have LOST my WHOLE BUSINESS ALL and I mean ALL my dogs & puppies are gone :) I have cried more tears than you can imagine.

“Thank God I had Cheryl from Lake Haven to be there to rescue all my babies so I know they are safe and will be cared for … but the emptiness my family feels is overwhelming! Putting them in the van and saying goodbye was the hardest thing I’ve ever done :(

“I’m not really sure where to go from here. I did contact an Attorney and feel that with the chain of events and all the crap that followed me from the other county I finally need to seek some legal counsel on how to recover from this.”

According to Suchil’s website, she started a “let me help you find a puppy” business in 2009.

“In my search for unique hybrids I came across an adorable breed called the Mi-Ki which was developed in the ’80s in Wisconsin by mixing the Papillon, Japanese Chin, Maltese and a little Shih Tzu and Yorkie,” Suchil posted. “The price tag on these little gems are all above $1,000 up to $3,000!!! So I decided to try to come up with an alternative for those of us that would love a Mi-Ki, but don’t want the high price tag!!!

“In my first breedings of the ShiChi/Papinese, I got some adorable pups that resemble the Mi-Ki. I originally was calling my little hybrid ‘MMMs’ (Mini Mock Mi-Ki’s), but out of respect for the Mi-Ki breed I have decided to call my little cuties ‘Pixie Puppies’ because of their BIG Butterfly Ears, looks like they have wings. Big bright Eyes. Petite little body … and the softest hair you’ve ever felt!!!”

Donations and volunteers needed

Cheryl McCloud, the director of Lake Haven Rescue, said she was happy to rescue Suchil’s dogs instead of seeing them go to an animal shelter. However, the influx of dogs has put a major strain on Lake Haven, which is a registered 501c3 licensed shelter comprised entirely of volunteer workers.

“I really think Renee cared about these dogs in her own way,” McCloud said. “She called me first and she told me she wanted to downsize. I think she knew she was overwhelmed and she knew she needed to do something different. She did the right thing and she called me rather than let them go to a county shelter.

“This is a huge, huge deficit on our budget,” McCloud said. “It’s a huge, huge strain on all of our resources. Any donations that anybody wants to make would be greatly appreciated. Anyone who would like to volunteer or adopt is welcome. I’ve got some beautiful, dogs, some darling little dogs.”

For more information, call Lake Haven Rescue at (231) 652-7507, visit online or write to Lake Haven Rescue, 551 Pickerel Lake Drive, Newaygo, MI 49337.

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