Success: Justice Secured for Over 150 Abused Puppies and Horses

Target: Delta County, MI Acting Prosecuting Attorney Lauren Wickham

Goal: Motivate law officials in Michigan and elsewhere to continue protecting the rights of their counties’ animals.

On August 24, 2020, Michigan State Police seized 135 dogs and 23 horses from an owner who had been operating an alleged underground puppy mill from her home in Upper Pennsylvania. These animals were kept in unfathomable conditions, with dogs matted and living atop their own feces, some bearing painful injuries that had gone untreated. All animals were severely underweight and malnourished. Several of the dogs were pregnant, and over 100 puppies were born following the dogs’ removal from the property. Now under the custody of the Delta Animal Shelter, these animals are receiving the care they deserve and are being adopted out to new forever homes.

Thankfully, the woman who committed these atrocities–Rebecca Johnson–has received a definitive sentence for her crimes. Officials didn’t so much as consider offering a plea deal, and Johnson pleaded guilty to all original charges, including one count of cruelty to 25+ animals and one count of misdemeanor unregistered animal shelter. Johnson faces seven years in county jail.

Sign this petition to thank the Michigan community for upholding the rights of these animals and to encourage that they continue to fight on animals’ behalf. 


Dear Prosecuting Attorney Wickham, 

Back in August of 2020, 135 dogs and 23 horses were seized from the property of Rebecca Johnson. As the sole caretaker of these animals, Johnson grossly abused her responsibilities, forcing her dogs and horses to live among their own feces and without access to veterinary care. Due to her sheer negligence, over 150+ animals, including 69 puppies, endured periods of prolonged suffering and physical abuse. Luckily, as the result of efforts made by the Michigan State Police and Delta Animal Shelter, all of these animals have been given a second chance at a better life. 

We at the ForceChange community want to thank you for the role you played in bringing justice to these dogs and horses neglected by Rebecca Johnson. It has recently been made public that Johnson has, in fact, been held accountable for her crimes to the highest degree and will spend the next 7-years of her life behind bars. No one should get away with treating any animal like this, let alone 150+ animals.

Thank you again for helping these animals, and may you continue to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ildar Sagdejev


  1. It is a good start but 7 years is not enough. It is not nearly enough. Life w/o parole would have been fair.

  2. Patrick Butler says:

    Thank you for taking action!

  3. Wow, no plea bargaining allowed for once! If 7 years was the maximum allowable sentence by current laws there, we all know those maximums are WELL below what they should be though, in order to create real justice for other living beings who are just as SENTIENT as human animals, as “inconvenient” a fact as that is for those who simply don’t WANT to admit it. The benchmark should be a DIRECT comparison to if the victims were human animals. The fact that it’s NOT lays bare how INFERIOR humans’ thinking and ethics really are.

  4. Lyla DeVita says:

    An act of violence against an animal should equate to the comparison of a human being the subject of an equal crime as D.M. has stated. The attitude of the courts in regards to animal abuse are decades behind society, as is the case here. Seven years in a starvation case is INEXCUSABLE, but this beats a stern look from a ridiculous judge.

  5. 7 years is not justice 150 yrs with no parole for each animal that was involved is justice.. I hope she gets what she deserves in jail..

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