CLEVELAND - Nearly 200 dogs and cats are safe after being rescued from conditions investigators call "filthy" and a Cleveland rescue group is stepping in to find them loving homes.
Video from The Humane Society of the United States showed an animal rescue team arriving to a rural property in Adams County on December 9. Investigators said they discovered 166 animals, 148 dogs and 18 cats, living in squalor.
The Humane Society of the United States said some were underweight and in need of medical help, while others suffered from broken bones and severe infections. Investigators said the animals were fed deer carcasses, and hundreds of carcasses were found on the property.
“It really does break your heart,” said Amy Beichler, Executive Director of Cleveland-based PAWS Ohio. The organization picked up four of the dogs Friday and placed them in foster homes. It had previously placed 8 others.
The owners, George Brock and Kitty Meyers, are now facing charges. They told investigators they ran a rescue, Sugar Bear Dog and Cat Rescue, for two decades but people started dumping animals and it got out of control. The local dog warden began investigating.
“It's a tough situation when you have that many for two people full time,” Brock said.
Assistant Adams County Prosecutor Dana Whalen said Brock and Meyers surrendered most of the animals. The Humane Society was providing treatment at an emergency shelter to the animals, which were then put up for adoption through various placement partners.
“I had heard especially about this little girl who had been passed over, because of her age and cataracts and neurological problems,” said Sheila Heyman, who adopted one dog. “No dog should be passed over.”
Whalen said she anticipates filing second degree misdemeanor charges against Meyer and Brock within the next two weeks, and they'll face up to 90 days in jail per charge.
“I don't understand why people don't see what’s going on around them and ask for help,” Beichler said.
About a dozen of the rescued animals still need a foster home, according to Beichler. If you’re interested in fostering an animal with special needs, contact PAWS Ohio’s hotline at 440-442-7297.