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HOME SWEET HOME | Dog once abused by owner finds forever home

After several weeks in the shelter, Higgins entered into the foster care program and went to a foster family who has now adopted him.
Credit: Kent County Animal Shelter

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A dog who gained the attention of people across West Michigan after his owner was caught on camera abusing him has found his forever home.

Jon Robert Wilcox, 25, is headed to trial in February after being charged with one count of animal cruelty, which is a misdemeanor offense. 

His dog Higgins was taken to the Kent County Animal Shelter after he was arrested and was evaluated for his injuries.

After several weeks in the shelter, Higgins entered into the foster care program and went to a foster family who has now adopted him.

RELATED: Man charged with animal cruelty after dog beating video goes viral bonds out

This is Higgins. He is under the care of the Kent County Animal Shelter after video circulated online of a man beating...

Posted by 13 On Your Side on Thursday, October 7, 2021

"He was happy to get out," said Angela Hollinshead, Public Health Division Director with Kent County Animal Shelter.

"Being in our care for a long time is very stressful for dogs so whenever we can get them out, we do," she said.

"Since his foster family was really interested in adopting him, we just went ahead and allowed them to finalize the adoption and make him an official part of their home," said Angela Hollinshead, Public Health Division Director with Kent County Animal Shelter.

Hollinshead went on to say that she knows there was a large group of people who were really interested in Higgins, but the reality is there was only one dog they could place. The shelter's goal when moving animals from the shelter to homes is to minimize that stress.

If found guilty Wilcox could serve 93 days in jail, a $1,000 fine and up to 200 hours of community service.

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