20 Dogs Rescued – Horrendous Conditions
20 Dogs living in filth; trash piled almost a foot deep, 100 degree temps, no food, no water, the stench of urine and feces so extreme that it led neighbors to repeated call in complaints.
How can anyone subject animals for these conditions?!? And as horrendous as it is that poor innocent dogs are forced to live in those conditions, even more incredulous is that people actually chose to live like that!!
The house, in a middle-class neighborhood off Memorial Drive, was not abandoned. A Clarksville man, his wife, and at times his pregnant daughter all lived in the home with the dogs.
“I’ve seen them nasty, with feces on the floor and stuff, but never quite that bad,” said David Selby, director of Montgomery County Animal Control and Adoption. “There wasn’t a place in the house you could step without stepping on trash or feces.”
For many months, the family that lived in the house evaded Selby and other Animal Control officers. It wasn’t Selby’s first run-in with them. In 2005, seven dogs were living in the home, which was in sorry condition even then.
“I gave him cleaning supplies, trash bags. He relinquished two large dogs to us, and they were heartworm positive. We put them down,” Selby said. “I had threatened him with cruelty.”
The five dogs the man kept in 2005 have been breeding ever since, with the result of an additional 11 adult dogs.
In the latest letter to the man who owns the house, written June 13, Selby gave him 24 hours to contact Animal Control or one of several other local animal rescues. The next day, the man contacted Inge Irby, director of Second Chance & Happy Tails, who then went through a two-week dance of telephone calls and visits before she could get the man to relinquish all of the dogs.
On her first visit, Irby left a 55-pound bag of dog food, then returned with 100 pounds more, because the dogs’ owner said it would be 10 days before he would have money to buy dog food.
“She was helping, as a rescue organization, to get this accomplished. She was a liaison to help out, because he was dodging me,” Selby said. “If it hadn’t been for Inge, I’d have had to get a search warrant and get him arrested. “
Finally, on June 28, Irby and Selby arrived with trucks and crates to remove all of the dogs from the filth they had been living in for many months. One of the adult dogs, a Chihuahua, had puppies a few days before being rescued.
Irby is caring for the mother dog, named Princess, and her four puppies, Patsy, Paige, Pauli and Parker, until the pups are weaned and can be spayed or neutered. Irby expects all of them to be available for adoption in early September.
The other 15 adult dogs, who are mixes of Jack Russell terriers, Chihuahuas and Maltese, were transported to Nashville Humane Association, where they were spayed or neutered, vaccinated, given flea preventative and tested for heartworms â€” all negative.
“A lot of them have hair loss from flea allergies,” Selby said about several of the white, long-haired Maltese mixes. “When they came in, they looked like they were black spotted, they had so many fleas on them.”
Irby, who was the first rescuer to enter the house, said she threw away the Birkenstock sandals she wore that day because she was afraid the urine and feces on them might carry diseases back to the animals in her rescue.
Nine of the dogs will be available for adoption from Nashville Humane Association, with a fee of $85-$110, starting Monday. The other six adult dogs, two males and four females, all less than 2 years old, were first offered for adoption from Montgomery County Animal Control Thursday. Five were still available Friday.
Selby said the frightened dogs need understanding adoptive families.
“Living in those conditions, with no food or water, they have no socialization,” Selby said. “They just need somebody to hold them. They’re dying for attention. We need somebody who can spend a little more time with them.”
Irby has seen animals in horrible living conditions during her 10 years of running a small dog rescue out of her home. She was shocked by what she saw last week, but says there are many other animals suffering behind closed doors in Clarksville.
“This is a bad situation, and it’s all over this city,” Irby said. “This is not an isolated incident. Thank God we got them out.” (The Leaf Chronicle)
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