NEWAYGO COUNTY, Mich. — A man charged with animal neglect when his dog had to get a leather collar surgically removed was sentenced Wednesday.
David Yoger faces fines, restitution and 6 months of probation in Newaygo County. The fines and restitution total more than $1,450.
Three dogs were found in poor condition on the breeder’s property back in March 2020, including "Hank", who had to have a leather strap surgically removed from his head.
Non-profit group Michigan Doodle Rescue Connect worked alongside attorney Valerie Brummel to rescue Hank.
“I want to thank those who helped rescue the dog. My office has received dozens of letters in support of Hank and I forwarded those as part of the pre-sentence. This dog's treatment has sort of touched a nerve in the community and I think rightfully so," Newaygo County Prosecutor Worth Stay said in court Wednesday.
"It's been reported to me by the new owner that the dog is doing better, but obviously there are challenges due to the injuries that he sustained and will probably last his whole lifetime.”
While Brummel says they wish that Yoder could have received a harsher punishment, they are glad the case made it all the way through the courts.
“We could have gotten nothing, so I think if we can get something that sends a message saying, what you did was wrong, there's consequences to your actions, and hopefully, you know, this man will think twice the next time he decides to have animals on his property or decides to engage in any type of breeding behavior," Brummel told FOX 17 Wednesday afternoon.
Hank is now living with a new family and Brummel says while he is doing much better, there are certain injuries he sustained that will stay with him his entire life.
Watch the sentencing: