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League Takes In 70 Dogs Saved From a “Rescue Organization” in Mississippi
March 17, 2010
On Saturday night, March 13, 2010, the League took in 70 dogs who had recently been impounded from a “rescue organization” in Mississippi. The dogs, who had been confined to a 3 ½ acre property—some inside the house, some in pens outside, and some loose in the yard—were covered with mange and suffering from a variety of other medical problems, including gunshot wounds. Many had died before the rescuers arrived, as evidenced by the skeletons and carcasses they found both inside the house and in the yard.
The sheriff in charge of the raid said simply, “I’ve never seen anything like this!”
Apparently, the woman who ran the operation started with good intentions, but she was clearly in way over her head and totally incapable of caring for the dogs whom she “saved.” The rescuer had, in fact, become a hoarder.
Now it is up to the League to rehabilitate and rehome these sweet, neglected dogs. Few shelters have the space to take in 70 dogs at once, regardless of how desperate their need is. And few shelters have the supportive environment that we have. Nor do they have a full-service, modern veterinary hospital or staff of professional trainers specializing in the needs of shelter and rescue dogs.
We have these things—and we feel strongly about our mission “to rescue, rehabilitate, and re-home animals who have nowhere else to go”—so we are putting them to work for the 70 survivors of this rescue gone bad.
The dogs are now enjoying warm, clean dens, regular meals, and relief from the parasites that used to torment them incessantly. Relieving them of the intense itching associated with sarcoptic mange may well have been the best thing we did for them. According to veterinarians, the relentless discomfort caused by this variety of mange — the mites responsible for sarcoptic mange actually tunnel into the animals’ skin — is extremely tortuous for an animal. Although nearly all of the Mississippi dogs had the condition and some had very bad cases of it, most of them are already feeling much better.
But mange is not the only problem that the League’s veterinary team is finding. About one-fifth of the dogs have heart worms, a potentially fatal condition treated with a series of injections combined with two long and trying months of near total confinement in crates or cages. Three of them have gunshot wounds, including one who still has bullet fragments in her fractured foreleg and another with a shattered ankle. Both of these dogs will be treated by a volunteer specialist surgeon, one of the best in the area.
After their medical conditions are assessed and treatment plans underway, the behavior and training department will begin doing their part, and then the adoptions department will begin finding—and thoroughly preparing—homes where these dogs can, at long last, live as valued companions.
Meanwhile, the woman who kept all the dogs in such horrendous conditions at what she called a “rescue operation” has been charged with disorderly conduct and may face additional charges. These include cruelty to animals, according to the Kemper County sheriff, but in Mississippi cruelty to animals, no matter how egregious, is a misdemeanor.