Woman Charged After Dogs Seized From West Bloomfield Home, Roseville Garage

April 25, 2019 - 10:17 am

WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) - A 52-year-old woman has been charged with animal cruelty in a case that started after dozens of dogs were found living in squalid conditions inside a cemetery garage.

Debra Lynn Rammacher, a.k.a. Debbi Atkins-Thorpe, was arraigned Wednesday in 48th District Court on a charge of animal cruelty and neglect. The specific charge -- failure to provide four or more but fewer than 10 animals with adequate care -- stems from the March 18 recovery of nine dogs from a home in the 5300 block of Hauser Way in West Bloomfield Township.

The animals were seized two days after 33 dogs were rescued from a garage at Aaron Moishe Cemetery, on the corner of Little Mack and Masonic in Roseville. Ten additional dogs were removed from a house next to the garage.

Officers responded to the home in West Bloomfield after receiving information that several dogs connected to Roseville seizure were being kept at the location. 

Five of the recovered dogs remain in the care of Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center, pending the outcome of the court case. One of the dogs had a microchip and therefore was returned to its owner. Three of the dogs were humanely euthanized.

Rammacher, who cooperated with investigators, turned herself in for arraignment. As a result, no mugshot was taken. She's due back in court on May 6. If convicted as charged, she faces up to two years in prison and a $2,000 fine. 

Rammacher is also facing a misdemeanor charge in Roseville for running an unlicensed kennel, according to reports. 

Investigators say Rammacher was running a rescue out of the garage in Roseville. She reportedly told police she unexpectedly had to move the dogs out of a rescue facility in Oakland County and was planning to keep the animals in the garage temporarily while some other type of location was secured. Police were first tipped off to the garage by a passerby who saw the dogs and was concerned about their welfare. 

State law does not require a license to operate an animal rescue. Local ordinances, however, determine how many and what kind of animals may be kept on a property.

This is the second animal cruelty and neglect charge in Oakland County in the past five months. Andrew Elroy Scott, of Brandon Township, was arraigned in December on a charge of cruelty and neglect of 10 or more animals after five animals were found dead on his property, a roadside farm stand petting zoo, and 26 others were in poor condition. Jury selection in Scott’s case begins next week.