Emergency Relief Teams Help Seized Dogs in Ohio
It was a Saturday afternoon when I got the call from IFAW’s Disaster Manager, Dick Green. The ASPCA and the Humane Society of Clark County, Ohio, with help from other local officials, were about to serve a search and seizure warrant on an individual who was housing nearly 400 dogs in extremely poor conditions. These animals were to be seized and would need immediate shelter.
Early the next day I flew into Columbus Ohio and immediately started work. These dogs would need food, shelter, vet care and other arrangements; there was a lot to do before they arrived.
Truck after truck arrived with these poor dogs. They were dirty, matted, hungry and frightened. Some had wounds, some were undernourished and there were various skin and eye conditions. But I was relieved to note that they were up and barking and had the will to live to survive their ordeal.
One of the dogs, a Great Pyrenese, was particularly aggressive onsite of the seizure. He rushed the front of his makeshift cage, barking and growling. Rescuers had to get him out of his cage with a control stick and even then he managed to grab hold of someone’s sweatshirt and wouldn’t let go. Red duct tape was put on his holding cage to indicate caution.
Two days later, that same rescuer happened to be by the Great Pyrense’s cage and noticed a whole different demeanor. The dog was still pushing against the front of the cage to get out but for a different reason. The rescuer cautiously open the cage and the dog immediately pushed against the rescuer’s hand again and again for petting, leaning against him as though the dog couldn’t get enough attention.
What we surmised brought tears to my eyes. We figured that the dog was so desperate and frantic to get out of his cage and so starved for human contact that he’d do whatever it took. I’m sure that he was once someone’s beloved pet who somehow ended up in this terrible predicament. I wonder if it’s that much harder on a dog who once had a home and ended up in a situation like this than one who was born in it.
The Great Pyrenese has the red caution tape removed from is cage. His matted coat is shaved so he could move freely without the painful pulling of mats when he tried to turn his head or walk. Soon he’ll be with a loving family forever.
For more information on the International Fund for Animal Welfare efforts to save animals in crisis around the world, visit http://www.ifaw.org