Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An amazing group of survivors

Submitted by EARS volunteer Debbie Ferguson of Kildeer, Illinois

Hello from Hilliard, Ohio where UAN volunteers are helping the ASPCA and the Clark County Humane Society shelter and care for more than 350 dogs seized from a private sheltering operation on February 22. Our temporary shelter is set up at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, where the dogs are being housed in individual kennels within horse stalls. They are primarily large adult mixed breeds but we do have a few small and mid-sized dogs in the bunch as well. 
A dog at the seizure site.
Photo: Mike Bizelli/ASPCA

The majority of the dogs are very frightened and skittish, hiding in the backs of their kennels and cringing as people approach them. But we are already starting to notice many of them relaxing more as time goes on and they get used to (and begin to enjoy) human contact. Most have visible signs of the neglectful conditions they have been living in: dirty, feces-covered matted hair, old scars and untreated injuries, bad teeth, mange, open sores and even untreated broken bones. Many are suffering from diseases and medical conditions that have gone untreated for long periods of time. Several older dogs are blind or have cataracts.

Two dogs await rescue at the seizure site.
Photo: Mike Bizelli/ASPCA
As at most UAN deployments, the volunteers are quickly becoming attached to their favorites. The large black Lab with cataracts is a big Teddy bear, the older dog with the broken legs that were never treated is a complete cuddler, and the three very pregnant dogs are nothing but loving to all who come near them. A tiny little spaniel with a terrible skin condition has stolen my heart, as has her neighbor, a collie/shepherd youngster with a smile for everyone who will likely be one of the first dogs to find a new forever family.

We do have some new additions already as two dogs have had puppies since arriving at the shelter. The new moms couldn’t be any different; one is protective of her pups while the other is proud of her brood and wants to share them with everyone who comes near. 
EARS volunteers look over a dog's
paperwork at the temporary shelter.
Photo: Debbie Ferguson

All in all, it was a good day here in Ohio for those of us UAN volunteers lucky enough to participate in the care and socialization of this amazing group of survivors. We have a nice routine going and the UAN shelter Team Leaders -- Jeanne DeGrauwe, Lauren Payne, Diane Buhl and Donna Lagomarsino -- did a wonderful job leading a constant influx of new local volunteers while maintaining a safe environment for both the people and the dogs. We look forward to having another new group of UAN volunteers join us tomorrow to carry on the good work of caring for, sheltering and socializing our new friends. As always, I am proud to be associated with such a great group of people!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.