Monday, March 28, 2011

220 rescued animals getting TLC in Arizona

Submitted by EARS volunteer Marcia Goodman of Cromwell, Connecticut

EARS volunteer Chris Pearne and two
geese who were rescued on march 23
Great news! Until today, we could not write about or take photos of the rescued animals, but we have just received permission to do both. I know that this is what everyone's been waiting for.

More than 220 animals were seized in this rescue. Most are dogs and cats, but we also have a lovable pig we've named Daisy and two delightful geese. The demeanor of the dogs ranges from outgoing, charming snugglers to very shy and cowering wallflowers. A few are emaciated, and a number have medical issues.

These first few days have been a transition time for the animals. They had a miserable life on the hoarder's property, but it was a life they knew. When the rescuers arrived, the animals, of course, didn't know who we were and were frightened of the unknown. Now they've begun to relax in their new, clean homes, with a ready supply of water and food, as well as volunteers who make sure that all of them, not just the alpha dogs, get a good meal.

There have been challenges to reach this point. At the hoarder's site, many of the dogs were grouped together in various kennels, and the UAN and HSUS staff had to make sure that, at the emergency shelter, those dogs were kept together rather than risk co-mixing dogs who hadn't lived together before. Since so many dogs arrived at the shelter at the same time needing immediate housing, the logistics were a challenge. Thankfully, UAN and HSUS have partnered many times before and are experienced in addressing such issues. The intake process went very smoothly.

Another challenge is keeping the animals warm, especially at night. Even though the temperature reads in the 60s during the day, we've had 20 to 30 mph winds, making it feel more like the mid-30s during the day, and even colder at night. We've spent hundreds of dollars keeping the animals warm and finding "wind resistant bedding." Now, with tarps, kennels, shavings and blankets, all of the animals seem very content. We are seeing a lot of napping, stretching and wagging tails.

With all of the preparatory work over the past few days, the volunteers just began spending socialization time with the animals on Saturday. Over the next few days, as we get to know their personalities, we'll share more about particular dogs and cats, as well as the geese and pig. So, please stay tuned . . .

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