MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — The owner of Muskegon-area sanctuary for wolf-dog hybrids may no longer own animals, a judge ordered.
On Monday, the day her trial was scheduled to begin, Brenda Lee Pearson pleaded no contest to one count of violating Michigan’s Wolf-Dog Cross Act.
It’s a 93-day misdemeanor, but Judge Anette Smedley did not impose jail time or probation. She did order Pearson not to own or possess animals.
A felony charge of possession of a dangerous animal causing serious injuries was previously dismissed.
Pearson owned Howling Timbers in Egelston Township, east of Muskegon. There have been concerns about the sanctuary for some time. Pearson’s wildlife rehabilitation permit was revoked in 2010.
In 2020, state conservation officers raided the sanctuary after a girl, one of Pearson’s granddaughters, lost an arm reaching in to a wolfdog pen. Pearson said the girl wasn’t bitten and instead was caught up in the fence. In 2021, county prosecutors raised concerns about safety, neglect and the lack of permits. In the spring of 2022, one of the wolfdogs escaped and was later captured.