Alleged dog hoarder arrested, charged with animal cruelty and neglect of 39 dogs

kim savino

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Charges have been filed against a woman who was allegedly hoarding dozens of dogs inside her northeast Grand Rapids home.

We first told you about this story in November, and a few weeks ago we told you that nearly 40 dogs were seized from the house.

Kimberly Savino was taken into custody on Tuesday for animal neglect charges.

Neighbors said that they are over joyed that the dogs have stayed out of the home for several weeks.

“They said that it’s quiet. It’s eerie. We aren’t used to it. It’s been a lot of years since it’s been this quiet, but we are happy,” said neighbor Jon Lovell.

Savino was booked into the Kent County Jail on Tuesday, charged with animal cruelty for allegedly hoarding dozens of dogs inside the home.

We knocked on the door again on Thursday, but no one answered.

A few weeks ago, Kent County Animal Control removed 39 dogs from inside.

Jon Lovell has lived next door for over two decades. Lovell said that having Savino as a neighbor has been a nightmare.

“I’m glad to hear that they are finally doing something about this, you know to take care of the dogs. Hopefully they will take care of the problem that we have in the City of Grand Rapids,” said Lovell.

FOX 17 has obtained picture of the dogs inside crates, stacked ontop of each other.

We first caught up with Savino in November, asking if we could see up close the conditions the animals were living in. She denied our request, adding that she had to leave for a medical appointment.

Neighbors said that Savino researched Grand Rapids and moved from the east coast after discovering the city doesn’t have a limit on how many dogs can live inside one home.

The Creston Neighborhood Association has had meetings on the issue, and residents are pushing city leaders to revise their animal ordinance to prevent a possible hoarding situation from happening again.

“We are hoping that we can the city commissioners and get the mayor on board and get an ordinance like most all cities in Michigan, and so this won’t happen to anyone else or another neighborhood in Grand Rapids like mine,” said Lovell.

Animal control said that all 39 dogs are being kept in a separate area of the animal shelter and the dogs could eventually be available for adoption.


  • Mi-PACA

    There’s an important point missing from this story. Criminals don’t tend to follow the law, so even if Grand Rapids restricts the number of pets that can be owned (punishing the innocent for the crimes of a few), it will not prevent hoarders nor irresponsible breeders from moving to or living in Grand Rapids. Cases like this can be (and are) prosecuted based on existing animal cruelty and neglect laws. Restricting ownership is ineffective.

  • Marne Street Dead Cats

    Why in the world hasn’t Diana Choiniere of Heaven Will Wait animal rescue not been charged yet?!! That woman blatantly murdered over 100 cats in Detroit- why the hell hasn’t she been charged?!! She was no hoarder! She used animal rescue to fill her need to be important to other people, not to animals, to people. She took money- lots of money. Where’s the money? Where are the existing animal cruelty and neglect laws in the case of the Marne Street Massacre? Why aren’t people talking about Diana Choiniere? She was no more a hoarder than Michael Vick. Where is the MHS? They won’t do anything to Choiniere. The animal welfare industry is a billion dollar industry and the MHS is part of a small elite group of multimillion dollar animal welfare organizations that receives the bulk of money donated each year. They count on people like Diana to scare the public, make them unsure of who to trust their donations with so they keep giving to the MHS. There were over ONE HUNDRED DEAD CATS. MHS, WHY HAVEN’T CHARGES BEEN FILED AGAINST THE MARNE STREET MURDERER?!!$$$!!

    • Thadine K. Kazmer

      Until I hear Diane’s side of the story I am not condemning her. She has matched a number of animals to people including my Murray T Kat to me and my husband. Perhaps she just became overwhelmed I don’t know. How owuld you know how much money she took in? Were you part of the inner circle. If so why didn’t you know someething was going on?

  • A.P.

    What about the cats that are still in this house? I’ve heard that they have about 8 in there. I’ve seen some sitting in the windows. Shouldn’t they be taken too?

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