When workers at the animal control department in Habersham County, Georgia, received a routine call on the evening of April 12 about excessive barking, they never expected what they found.
Investigators were dispatched to the property, where they discovered, to their horror, over 350 animals in deplorable condition.Dogs and puppies were stacked on top of each other in plastic crates, wading through their own excrement, their fur matted and nails long.The Humane Society of the United States(HSUS)was called in to help seize the neglected animals. In addition to 260 dogs, rescuers found cats, donkeys, pigs, bunnies, ducks, doves, chickens, a horse and an alpaca, all in desperate need of medical attention.
The county's animal control director, Madi Hawkings, described how she felt about the discovery:
We never expected to discover something of this magnitude in our own backyard. This is a heartbreaking situation, and it’s not an easy task to be present to witness this kind of cruelty.
According to the Gainesville Times, one experienced rescuer was physically ill upon entering one of the structures on the property.
The overwhelming stench of urine and feces was pungent, with five or six animals to a kennel and no access to clean them.Thankfully, after over 24 hours of non-stop efforts, the animals were all evacuated to emergency shelters where they will receive medical treatment.The puppies especially were extremely excited by the prospect of human interaction, and none of the animals are in poor enough health to warrant euthanasia.
They will be given medical care for several weeks, but will be eventually put up for adoption. The original count of 350 has been steadily increasing as well, as many of the animals were pregnant.If you would like to follow along with their progress, check out the Habersham County Shelter Facebook page.As the investigation into the woman responsible continues, many of the larger rescue organizations will be pulling out leaving this small shelter to deal with over half of the the affected animals. They are in desperate need of monetary or supply donations. If you would like to contribute to these animals' care, you can do so, here.If you live in England, you can visit the RSPCA, and if you live in the United States, you can visit the ASPCA to get more information about pets available for adoption.Tens of thousands of dogs and cats end up in shelters each year, either due to neglect, abuse or abandonment. Consider adopting before you shop, and visit your local shelters before going to a breeder. Every dog and cat deserves a fair chance at a forever home.[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-RsI_gvepc[/embed]
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