Neighbors: Nearly 40 Dogs Taken From Grand Rapids Home

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NE Grand Rapids Dogs Siezed

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (June 28, 2014) — Neighbors next to a home in northeast Grand Rapids said that almost 40 dogs have been removed from the house.

The residents of the home claimed that they ran a grooming service and animal rescue, but neighbors say it’s been a headache.

“It’s just horrible. It’s like how can you treat an animal like that,” said neighbor Jon Lovell.

Pictures from inside the home show dozens of dogs inside small crates.

The city of Grand Rapids does not set a limit on how many dogs can legally live inside of a home.

Jon Lovell said that he’s lived in his home next door for 25 years. Lovell said that after the homeowner’s niece Kim Savino moved in last fall, the number of dogs inside skyrocketed.

“To explain it would be like sitting at the runway of the Kent County Airport when jets are taking off and landing. That’s what it was like. You can’t hear each other, think, talk. When the dog would bark in the middle of the night in their house, we could hear it in ours,” said Lovell.

FOX 17 caught up with Savino in November, and she denied our request to let us inside to see the conditions the dogs were living in.

We then got a hold of an animal control report that stated 37 dogs were living inside.

No one answered the front door when we visited the home on Saturday.

Neighbors said that Kent County Animal Control officers took all of the dogs from the home and the front yard was filled with kennels while the dogs were taken out.

Lovell said that despite Savino claiming that shes provides adequate care for the animals, he’s witnessed the dogs being physically abused.

“Of course if you listen to them, they’d say they treated their dogs wonderful and stuff, but we’ve seen them throw them in and out of the house. Sometimes when they were throwing them in the house, they didn’t quite make it the door. They’d hit the side of the slider window and you’d hear them yelp,” said Lovell.

Lovell said that the noise and smell has gotten so bad that he still hasn’t made a decision on whether to move from the home he’s lived in for 25 years.

“We talked about it all the time and I’m still thinking about it of getting out of here just because of what’s going on next door, and yet I’d feel horrible to sell it to somebody knowing that my neighbors would drive them absolutely crazy,” said Lovell.

Lovell said that the neighborhood association is teaming up with local politicians to try to push to change Grand Rapid’s animal ordinance, and hopes the dogs don’t return to the home.


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  • tracyd112

    They need to start treating people they way they treat there animals.make them live in a cage with filth and fesses.It makes me sick that people think this is alright.

  • Laughmore

    What a sickening situation. I hope the judge happens to be an animal lover and gives these ***wholes everything they got coming to them. Rotten SOBs.

  • Intheknow

    I am a family member of the home owners. I can assure everyone that any neglect found by Animal Control was the sole responsibility of Kim Savino and not the home owners. She is the owner of all but two dogs that were in that home and was the person who was caring for them. The home owners have had dogs for years and have always taken excellent care of their own animals.

    • dudemar

      are you saying that the owner of all those dogs is actually renting that home? If so then are you saying the owner of the house agreed to let the house become a dog pound and rent it out to white trash? fox go find the owner and see what they say.

  • betterhave

    This Kim Savino is not a renter. Nor is she any blood relation to the homeowners. Nor is she in any way, shape or form, a rescue. She has somehow managed to manipulate a kind but vulnerable woman into gradually letting Kim Savino run her life, run her husband off and has now brought it to the point where the woman has now lost her own two well-cared for, beloved dogs. Savino came here about a year ago, allegedly to help this woman after a surgery. She has gradually brought in more and more of her own dogs from out east. Rescues bring in dogs and also advertise and place them in loving homes. Hoarders, who only continue to collect dogs and who are often oblivious to the suffering they inflict on these hostages, sometimes claim to be a rescue, but that does not make them a rescue. 30 to 40 dogs, most of whom live most of the time in a little crate, is NOT a rescue operation. If animal control conducts a proper investigation, they should be able to prosecute this woman for neglect and / or abuse under the EXISTING laws. There is no need to jump up and write more laws or new laws. Grand Rapids devised a very sensible ordinance that does not make numbers or breeds a central focus. It does however, hinge on good enforcement of the cruelty, neglect and dangerous dog laws already on the books. It is sad and deplorable that this woman has managed to engrain herself into the lives of the homeowners who never, ever, had any such problems before she came along. The poor man already found it necessary to move out and is left fighting to save his wife. The wife needs professional help asap. The Leech, Savino, needs to move on and leave them in peace. I wouldn't doubt that she needs professional help as well, but seldom are hoarders successfully treated___if that's what she is. She could be just another clever con enjoying an extended stay and this little bed and breakfast she's found here in Grand Rapids, using the dogs as a key prop in her scam. Maybe both, who knows ? But she should not be allowed to cause this city to overturn it's well-crafted animal ordinance and join a group of other communities who pay the county for the privilege of enforcing dog limits.
    The county's job is to enforce the law and the laws are already on the books that prohibit keeping animals living in their own waste in too small crates and a lack of exercise, adequate water and so on.

    • Amanda S

      Actually Betterhave, the husband was told by the wife to leave the house aftr two healthy dogs in the home were killed from ryens' neglect when he was watching them while kim was away in june…she has path reports from MSU to prove this.. and over a dozen other dogs were ill because he didnt water and feed them properly. take heart, the "other" side of the story will be shown soon!

  • will

    A wonderful well written post betterhave. I just hope the Kent country proscuter takes it seriously and also that local legislators don't over react and make it hard for those of you who do rescue neglected animals of all kinds from people like Kim savino.

  • kathryn

    I have heard that Kim threatens the homeowners that she will kill herself if she doesn't get her own way. I understand that she threatens and blackmails on a daily basis. If you try to visit the home owner Kim will refuse to leave the room and if you try to get her to leave the room she will scream 'inappropriate touching' and phone the police. Isn't that a little nuts?

    • Amanda S

      I wonder if this is the same kathy who admitted in front of a police detective a week ago that she DID physicaly assault kim when she attempted to step out of the house to talk to the homeowner during a visit. far as i know kim didnt press charges out of good will…guess she made a mistake there!

  • Ms T

    How sad for these dogs! Thank You Jon Lovell for your input and involvment–You always was a great guy. As a former nieghbor I recall these homeowners rescued border collies(fostered) I can’t even imagine all those dogs in a home. I hope the person(s) get prosecuted to the full extent (which still would not be enough) Sorry for Jon and Leslie to have to endure the noise and smells. Disguisting!

  • betterhave

    Oh dear, Amanda, you are so wrong about so many things. Keep on believing Savino. The truth will come out and it won’t look anything like the fairytales you’ve bought hook, line and sinker. Next thing you know, you’ll be telling us that Savino was an honest-to-God rescue. Never placed a dog, kept them all to herself, allowed her latest shelter acquisitions to breed, never mentioned finding good homes for even the puppies____ and the public comes to believe that this bullcrap is what “rescue” is. It has nothing to do with real rescue, but it sure does a lot of harm, to both the animals and the real rescues out there.