The Humane Society of the United States has deployed personnel to assist with removing animals from the care of a terminally ill cancer patient who had amassed nearly 30 dogs. The HSUS was asked to intervene when the owner was denied hospice care until the dogs were removed, and a neighbor made plans to shoot the animals and bury the bodies with a back hoe.
The HSUS will also ease the burden of the overloaded Missouri shelter by picking up approximately 20 dogs cast off by several local puppy mills. Puppy mills are commercial mass dog-breeding facilities where dogs are housed in unhealthy conditions with no human contact. These facilities routinely unload their unwanted dogs at the local shelter.
"Unfortunately, this community has no county shelter or animal control facility, and many residents have nowhere to turn in these horrible situations," said Scotlund Haisley, HSUS senior director of emergency services. "These dogs have avoided a terrible fate and will now have the chance to be the dogs they were never given the opportunity to be."
The rescue was a collaboration of animal rescue organizations across the country. Two of the purebred corgis will be taken by the St. Louis Corgi Rescue. Five puppies and two adults will be taken by Forever Friends Animal League in Kansas City. The HSUS will transport the 16 remaining hoarding rescue dogs and the approximately 20 puppy mill dogs from Missouri to Main Line Animal Rescue in Chester Springs, Pa. These dogs will be transported comfortably in The HSUS' one-of-a-kind, fully-loaded 75-foot animal transport rig. The animal rescue team will arrive in Osceola Friday morning, and is expected to arrive at Main Line Animal Rescue on Sunday morning.
This situation was compounded by the fact that Osceola has only one full-time animal control officer working on a shoestring budget with no county animal control in place to offer assistance.
"Osceola's lone animal control officer does the best she can on a budget of $10,000, but can barely keep up with the 400-600 dogs that she cares for annually," said Haisley. "With local resources stretched to the breaking point and desperate measures about to be taken, these dogs urgently needed our help. I'm relieved that we were able to step in at the last minute and rescue these animals."
Animal care and control agencies handle an estimated 700 to 2,000 animal hoarding cases every year.
Animal hoarding is often a symptom of a serious mental illness. It involves collecting more animals than one has the ability to care for. Hoarders are characterized by the denial of their inability to care for the animals and their failure to grasp the impact his neglect has on the animals, the household and the human occupants of the dwelling.
Up to 250,000 animals are subjected to neglect and abuse every year as a result of animal hoarding.
Click here to learn more about hoarding.
The Humane Society of the United States Animal Rescue Team responds to natural and human-made disasters across the country, assisting local animal care and control agencies when circumstances exceed their ability to respond.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.
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