ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN) – Rebecca Sue Johnson, the woman charged in connection to a puppy mill investigation in Delta County appeared virtually before a District Court Judge on Monday. Johnson was arraigned on two charges and pleaded ‘stand mute’ to both.

The plea occurs when a defendant in a criminal action refuses to plead either guilty or not guilty. 

A court date set for a jury trial has been scheduled for May 2, 2022.

On January 11, Johnson gave up her rights to the animals. Since the seizure of the animals, an additional 100 puppies were born in the care of the Delta Animal Shelter.

The story began on August 24, 2020, when the Delta Animal Shelter was asked by law enforcement to help remove animals from an alleged puppy mill in Maple Ridge Township.

Dozens of dogs and some horses were rescued. Many of the dogs taken in by the shelter were pregnant at the time.

Delta Animal Shelter performed more than 200 surgeries and placed the dogs in foster care before they could be adopted. Dogs from the suspected puppy mill with behavioral issues were put through Dawgs Adapt, a prison training program in Munising.