The ASPCA last month led a rescue of 85 dogs from an overcrowded property near Wayne County, TN under the authority of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. The Nashville Humane Society and the Atlanta Humane Society also contributed efforts to the rescue.
“With the generous assistance of local law enforcement and our partner agencies, we were able to organize the rescue operation and do what’s best for the animals by removing them from the property and providing medical and behavioral evaluations,” said Kyle Held, the ASPCA’s Midwest regional director of field investigations and response.
The Humane Societies provided mobile clinics and other essential resources to treat animals in need of immediate attention. The ASPCA had the opportunity to use a new custom-built animal transport trailer, capable of moving more than a hundred animals comfortably. PetSmart charities also provided aid, donating crates for temporary shelter and transportation for the animals.
The team arrived on the scene to find medium and large dogs—such as German Shepherds, Labradors, and hound mixes—everywhere on the rural property. Makeshift dog pens were scattered throughout the woods. Other dogs were chained or ran loose. The team gathered most of the loose dogs, but allowed the guardian to keep three of the animals as long as they were spayed/neutered and examined by a vet.
Most of the 85 dogs appeared healthy, but some had health problems including mange and heartworm, a treatable condition that takes 6 to 8 to be completely cured.
Once the dogs are evaluated for health and behavior, they will be available for adoption. Through its newly formed Shelter Response Partnership, the ASPCA has secured transfers for nearly all of the rescued dogs.
According to Held, this case of overcrowding is not an isolated event. In rural communities, animal welfare laws are difficult to enforce.
“This is a serious problem throughout this region,” said Corporal Henry Williams of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. “People dump dogs and we have no resources or infrastructure to handle the problem. We are very appreciative of the dedication and professionalism of the ASPCA and their partners to help our community in this time of need.”
As the first humane organization in the western hemisphere, the ASPCA was founded on the principal that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans, and must be protected under the law. The ASPCA uses its legal authority to investigate and make arrests for crimes against animals, demonstrating its leadership in providing for animals in need. –Valerie Lute