Friday, October 28, 2011

Sheltering Dogs in Kentucky

This week, a team of 11 RedRover Responders volunteers traveled from six states to Kentucky to assist the ASPCA and the Rowan County Animal Shelter with 118 dogs rescued earlier this month from a breeding operation.

Volunteer Team Leader Andy Bass drove more than 1,000 miles from his home in Florida to lead the RedRover Responders team, which is scheduled to lead the sheltering effort for one week. Since Monday morning, the team has been hard at work cleaning cages, feeding the dogs, taking care of moms and puppies, and monitoring the maternity ward. Andy brought in some toys for enrichment for the dogs. The team's goal is to make the emergency shelter as safe, calm and pleasant as possible for the animals while the case moves through the court system.

News reports described the situation the dogs came from as disturbing, and described mainly small breeds such as Chihuahuas, Pekingese, miniature pinschers, papillons, dachshunds and schnauzers stacked on top of each other in cages or kept in wire cages with pull out trays beneath them. According to news reports, the dogs were found in unsanitary conditions amidst dead rats, dirty water bowls, feces and urine, and many are suffering from parasites, dental disease, dehydration, matting and abnormal skin, ears and eyes. The owner of the dogs pleaded not guilty to 46 counts of animal cruelty on Monday.

Because of the sensitivity of the legal case, photos of the animals are not available at this time.

Andy reported that despite the long hours and endless scrubbing, the volunteers' attitudes are upbeat and focused on providing quality care for the animals. "I just could not be more proud of the team and how well they are doing," said Andy. "They have stepped up to make a difference in a difficult situation."

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