The Richland County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) was investigating a loud amount of barking at a home on Saturday morning when they discovered a rusted-out trailer with more than a dozen dogs in wire cages.
“There were poodles in there in cages that were filthy,” Managing Director of the Humane Society of Richland County Linda Chambers said. “They were stacked on top of each other. No air quality or anything.”
The RCSO quickly called Chambers to come help because the issue was much worse than anticipated. In total 82 dogs and puppies were found at the residence.
“A lot of Dachshunds, there were some Pugs, there are some little Terriers, mostly small breed dogs,” she said. “Some Hounds, Beagles, there’s just a whole bunch – there’s a whole variety of them. And like I said, the small poodles that we found in the trailer.”
One puppy was found dead, and one dog died after being rescued and taken to the vet for emergency care. Now the HSRC is working to bring the dogs back to health.
“When we got there and we saw how bad it was; I think we just went into the mindset that we gotta get them out,” Chambers said. “We had to get them to the shelter where we can assess them.”
Taking on this many dogs carries a big cost, so HSRC asked for help from its Facebook followers to raise funds for supplies and treatments. Within a day, more than $22,000 has been raised.
“This will get them vetted,” she said. “It’ll get them spayed, neutered, tested for heartworm, tested for parvo. We don’t get a break on that. So, when we put out a number and say: ‘Can you guys help us? We’re in a crisis.’ Our community, and I think Northeast Ohio, comes forward for us.”
Chambers said one man was arrested and animal cruelty related charges are pending, but details aren’t readily available until at least Tuesday due to the holiday.
“As animal advocates, shame on you for the conditions that you left them in,” Chambers said. “That is not the humane thing to do for animals. They deserve so much better.”
Chambers said it will be a slow process to get the dogs ready for adoption, but she’s hopeful some of them could be ready in the next few weeks. She hopes half of the dogs will be adopted within a month.
HSRC’s Facebook page is the best place to follow for updates and also where you can donate to help the rescued dogs.