Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fulton County animal welfare officials raid familiar farm

By: Dan Levy

 It was another case of deja vu Thursday for both Fulton County Sheriff's investigators and animal welfare officers.
It was just last month when law enforcement and SPCA personnel converged on the Mayfield property of Sue Kelly. At that time nearly 300 animals were seized. Thursday, they went in for more.
The puppies that were being sheltered at the Mohawk and Hudson Humane Society Thursday night are the latest haul from alleged animal hoarder Sue Kelly.
Most of them are pure bred, and even though most of them are pretty playful, most are in need of immediate veterinary care.
"There are some dogs that are going to need some long term recovery," said Tina Murray, the Director of Operations and Humane Law Enforcement Officer for the SPCA. "I do believe they're all relatively salvageable."
Murray says she went along with law enforcement earlier in the day with a search warrant on Route 349, Kelly's Haven for Friends and Animals, where she describes conditions as deplorable: dogs were kept improperly confined, unsanitary living conditions, and dogs that needed immediate medical care.
In the past, more than 300 animals -- dogs, cats, goats, birds, and horses -- had been seized from that property.
Many friends and volunteers defend Kelly, applauding her dedication, her compassion, and her inability to turn away any animal, but experts say the Kelly scenario illustrates the dichotomy of animal hoarding: people who believe they're caring for the animals but are actually causing them great harm..."  More

Animal hoarding comes at a big price

By: Tanya O'Rourke

Tucked into the bottom of a hillside in Ripley, Ohio lives Ruth Wilder, her husband, son, daughter and 69 dogs. They live in and around what amounts to a shack. The place is littered with trinkets that have sat in the sun, the rain and the snow.

There isn't overwhelming evidence that the home has electricity. A portable toilet near the home on the property questions whether there is running water. Wilder is a 65-year-old woman living likely at or below the poverty line.

Wilder waited for one rainy day in June with heaviness in her heart. The day she will give up all but three of her dogs to the Brown County Dog Warden, Leslie Zureick.

Wilder is an animal hoarder. She knows it. But the strain, financial and physical, is too much for her.
"I sleep on a lawn chair with a couch pillow on it for a bed," Wilder said. "And [I've] been buying part of my medicine and doing without part of it."

In large part, Wilder is willing to give up the dogs without a fight because of Zureick, who took over the Brown County Animal Shelter in Nov. 2011 and got rid of the gas chamber. 

Zureick promised Wilder her dogs would not be euthanized.

"She knew we weren't gonna kill 'em," said Zureick. "We weren't gonna euthanize any dogs."
Having significantly fewer dogs will help Wilder live a longer, healthier life.  But the burden now shifts to Zureick...."  More, photo & video

Original story:  here

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Humane Society gets 87 animals in one week

by Brianna Smith

n the past week, 87 cats and dogs were taken from two homes in Myrtle Beach. The owners were charged with mistreatment of animals. Those pets are now the responsibility of the Grand Strand Humane Society.
"So we've received in a weeks time almost 100 from hoarding instances," said Sandy Brown with the Grand Strand Humane Society.
Police seized 51 cats and dogs from a home last week and 36 cats Monday from another home.
The humane society is now overrun with animals, housing them in hallways and conference rooms.
"We can't say no," said Brown.
And that's the problem for people considered to be hoarders, they can't say no...."  More & video

51 animals removed from Myrtle Beach home

by Brianna Smith

Myrtle Beach Animal Control removed 51 animals from a home Monday.
Thirty six dogs and 15 cats were taken from what owner Ruth Griffin calls a rescue organization.
Griffin was charged with not having a business license, not having proper vaccinations for the animals, and not kenneling them properly.
However, Griffin says that she loves the animals and she was born to help them, "well it's been my dream, when I was a small child, I wanted to be a veterinarian."
Myrtle Beach Police and animal control say it was their turn to save the animals from Griffin.
"The condition that they were kept in, the condition of the house, that was not only a safety concern for the dogs, but for the occupants of the residence," says Captain David Knipes.
Griffin doesn't deny she was housing the animals. "Dozens, dozens have been coming through here, and it's true," she says.
Animal control says those dozens of animals were not being cared for properly. Knipes says they were "standing with feces and urine all over them, more than two to a crate, not even being able to turn around. That's why the animals were taken, for their own protection."..."  More & video

Monday, June 25, 2012

SPCA investigates after seizing 52 dogs and 16 cats in Burnaby


A woman who rescues special needs animals from around the world, including areas ravaged by disasters like Hurricane Katrina, said she is devastated after the SPCA seized 52 dogs and 16 cats from her rental property in south Burnaby.

Sandra Simans, 56, is the founder of the not-for-profit organization 1atatime Rescue and for four years has been operating an animal rescue shelter out of a Maitland Street three-bedroom house in Burnaby.

Some of her rescues were beaten and tortured, while others are blind, missing limbs or ill, she said. She claims that before they were seized all of her animals were being loved and well cared for by herself and about half a dozen volunteers.

But the SPCA contends many of the animals seized last week were suffering, and the organization has launched an animal cruelty investigation.

Simans has appealed for help in finding a place where she can take care of all the animals, some of which have highly specialized medical needs.

Animals like eight-month-old Sammy Blue Jeans.

Sammy is a two-legged dog who had been living on the streets of Taiwan. He was in a car accident when he was three-months-old. He has no hips and no tail and requires a special wheelchair Simans had constructed for him.

Bob Busch, general manager of operations for the BC SPCA, said Sammy’s wheelchair was broken. He said a new one has been fitted for him and SPCA staff are assessing his medical needs.

Busch said an animal cruelty investigation is underway. No one has been charged.
Many of the animals seized had dental issues that had not been addressed, said Busch.
“Some had rotten teeth and infections, also yeast infections, dermatitis and ear infections,” he said.

One dog had a distended abdomen with what the SPCA believes to be a shot gun pellet.
“It’s a sad situation,” he said. “The BC SPCA has the ability to care and treat the animals.”

Simans fears the oldest animals, including four blind dogs, will be euthanized at the SPCA.

“They can legally do what they are doing but the question is, morally do you really want to do this?” said Simans, whose company was incorporated in 2005 and has four directors.
Busch said animals are only euthanized if they are in severe distress and can't be treated for aggression. As of Saturday, he said none of Siman’s animals had been euthanized.

“They are being evaluated and their medical issues are being addressed,” he said.
Simans admits she was operating against a bylaw that prohibits that many animals in a residential home, but says she was doing “everything I can to save these animals.”

Last week, SPCA officials arrived at her house and told her she would have to move the animals to a new location because she was in contravention of a city bylaw.

Simans said she found a gated property on one and a half acres in White Rock where she could take them. However, she said when she returned with the rental truck to transport the animals a city official told her the animals were being seized. The city official told her she could only take two dogs and four cats, the maximum number allowed under the city’s bylaw..."  More

52 cats seized, 9 later euthanized, from Chaparral home

By Brian Fraga
Doña Ana County Sheriff's investigators on Thursday seized 52 cats 
from a Chaparral home, where nine of the cats later had to be 
euthanized because of poor health.

The homeowner, identified as Charles Gonnell, 62, was not home 
when the search warrants were executed, but he is facing charges 
of extreme animal cruelty and codes violations, officials said.

Dr. Patricia Norris, a full-time veterinarian on staff with the Doña 
Ana County Sheriff's Department, said she examined the cats and 
found that all of them suffered from a combination of skin diseases, 
upper respiratory infections and ulcerated mouths.

Norris euthanized nine cats because of the pain and suffering 
associated with their extremely poor health.

"All of the cats were suffering quite a bit," Norris said. "These 
conditions are hard to treat, and most would likely not recover 
at this stage of illness."

The sheriff's investigators, members of the department's Animal 
Cruelty Task Force, obtained two warrants Thursday after receiving 
a tip of animals being hoarded at a house in the 500 block of 
Amparo Road in Chaparral, said Kelly Jameson, a spokeswoman with
 the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office..."  More

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Elderly couple may face charges for hoarding dogs

By Margo Gray

An elderly couple may soon face charges for hoarding more than 80 dogs in their Madison home.
Only 39 survived on June 14.
The couple could face animal cruelty charges, but, as of now, investigators have not officially charged them.
Since the story was aired, there has been an outpouring from people wanting to help give the dogs a good home.
The home they came from off Crestview Drive in Madison is now condemned.
Shelters in the area are working together to get the dogs healthy again. They all have to get their shots and be de-wormed, spayed and neutered.
So far, more than 100 people in the community have asked to adopt the dogs and puppies.
"Constantly, you see some of the saddest cases of abuse and neglect, but then you also see so many cases of the outpouring of love and support when this happens and that makes it great," said Miki Bennett, founder of Madison Animal Rescue Foundation..."  More & video

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tulsa SPCA rescues 71 mistreated animals from central Oklahoma Read more from this Tulsa World


A central Oklahoma Sheriff's Department rescued 18 goats, 42 chickens, eight rabbits, two border collies and a pig from an undisclosed location in central Oklahoma, according to a news release. The animals were malnourished and standing in their own feces and among the remains of dead animals, officials said. 

Lori Hall, Tulsa SPCA director, said raids like this aren't common, but they are occurring more frequently, possibly due to lack of space issues in the state, she said. 

"Oklahoma is just running out of land," Hall said. 

Cruelty and hoarding charges are going to be pressed against the man who was holding the animals, Hall said. 

The location of the raid and photos of the home where the animals were kept will remain undisclosed until later in the week to promote a fair trial, she said. 

The goats were the most visually distressed animals, with their rib cages and backbones clearly visible. The goats looked as if they hadn't had nourishment for a long time, Hall said. 

"If they are loving this grass, that tells you a lot," she said. 

But lack of visual evidence doesn't tell the whole story, Hall said. The chickens were being kept in a semi-trailer full of dead chickens and feces, she said. 

"They said it was about ankle deep," Hall said. 

The rabbits were in such bad condition that they were dying as they were loaded up to be transported to the center. 

"They had to leave the ones that didn't make it behind," Hall said. 

The animals are being housed at the Tulsa SPCA center, and the livestock will be moved to foster care later this week until they are healthy enough for adoption, Hall said. The other animals will remain at the center until they can be adopted..."  More

Agencies Help Suspected Animal Hoarders

Reporter: Lily Wu

Local agencies like the Kansas Humane Society receive numerous phone calls from people concerned of possible animal hoarding problems.

"We encourage them to contact their local authorities that are in their area. Animals cannot speak out for themselves. It takes private citizens to let us know what's going on, to let Wichita Animals Services know what's going on, so that we can help them," said Jennifer Campbell, director of communications.

It is the animal control authorities who respond to reports of animal hoarding.

"A lot of times the people that are involved in it, don't know really what to do. It started out innocently enough, helping take care of animals, and then it got out of hand where they aren't even able to provide minimum care," said Dennis Graves, supervisor for Wichita Animal Control.

Graves said they get periodic reports of animal hoarding. Each year, there are one or two severe cases of hoarding.
"It's always difficult when we run across them. It's a situation where we need to address it. Family members and friends are key to identifying and pointing people in the right direction," said Graves.

In 2010, Wichita Animal Control had 2,732 animal cruelty and neglect investigations. In 2011 there were 2,647 investigations. From January to May of this year, there have been 1,081 investigations...."  More

McKamey Takes 10 Dogs From Crossville Animal Rescue

by: Webb Wright

      Thirty-three dogs were rescued from a Crossville home, victims of what is being called a case of animal hoarding.

     "I think that one of the things that the hoarding show that's been on television has done is that it has shown people that this is actually a mental illness and these people actually really need help. So more neighbors are now reporting people that have lived in these situations for years, so that they can try to get the help that they need, so they don't put animals in these situations," says Karen Walsh, executive director of the McKamey Animal Center.

      The center received 10 of the rescued dogs, most of them Chihuahuas, who were living inside small crates in a shed with no ventilation, running water, or electricity.

      "In some hoarding situations, there are some animals that are dead on the property or really in bad condition. In this situation these animals are in relatively good condition," says Walsh.

       The center will check the dogs for any physical ailments, but in hoarding cases, it's often the emotional problems that scar the animal the most.

       "A lot of them have never had any interaction with people so our caretakers and staff here try to work with these animals and try to get them used to being around other animals and people socializing them is a very important step," says Stefanie Douglass, Clinic Manager at the McKamey Animal Center.

       McKamey officials say they see about 8-10 hoarding cases a year, and those involved often don't realize what they are doing is wrong...."  More & video

Lisa Welborn - Illinois

Jun 22, 2012:  Neighbor defends woman arrested for animal hoarding

By Elizabeth Matthews

A 56-year-old woman was arrested and 30 animals taken from her home amid accusations of animal hoarding, the Madison County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.

According to Captain William Dimitroff, a sheriff's office spokesman, the Long Lake Fire Department and Ameren IP Corporation responded to a home in the 2500 block of Roney Drive after receiving calls reporting a natural gas odor.

Authorities discovered 25 dogs and 5 cats inside the home and saw the animals did not have proper vaccinations. The home was filled with pet feces and urine.

Dimitroff said sheriff's deputies were contacted and arrested the home owner, identified as Lisa Welborn. Madison County Animal Control officers responded and took custody of the animals.

Madison County Planning and Development determined the home unfit for occupancy and ordered the gas and electricity shut off completely.

Most people living around a situation like this might be annoyed, but not these neighbors. Everyone we talked to said Welborn was just trying to do the right thing..."  More & video

Jun 21, 2012:  Granite City Woman Faces Charges For Animal Hoarding

by George Sells

A Madison County, Illinois woman is under arrest for animal cruelty, and while there’s little debate that conditions in her home were deplorable, some are questioning whether she should have been arrested.  It was Thursday morning when a gas crew showed up at the home of Lisa Welborn, 56, and discovered twenty-five dogs and five cats living in squalor inside.
“Many of these animals were caged and isolated from each other which was part of the problem,” Madison County Sheriff’s Department Captain William Dimitroff said.  “The ones that were running free were running through feces, and urine, and hair, and based on these conditions, that was one of the reasons for the arrest.”
Welborn was jailed, held on $100 bond which she still hadn’t made Thursday night.  Her house was in such terrible condition that officials say it’s been declared unfit for occupancy.  But some of her neighbors say this is simply a case of a well-intentioned woman getting in over her head.
“Oh definitely it got blown out of proportion,” the neighbor across the street who only identified himself as Hans, said.  “Lisa is a very, very nice lady.  Quiet, keeps to herself.  Takes in strays and abused animals.  Takes them to the vet.  She finds homes for them.”
That assertion was backed up by Laura Beckmann of the Clinton County Humane Society further to the east of St. Louis.  Beckmann says Welborn has regularly brought dogs to them that were in need of homes.  And, in many cases, she had rescued those animals from horrific situations.
“That’s all we’ve ever known is she goes into absolute awful conditions and brings these dogs out and gets them moved into rescues as quickly as possible.”..."  More & video

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

154 cats discovered in dead man's home in Madera

By Ezra Romero

More than 150 cats were found at a Madera County ranch home after the owner died last week.
Now, animal control officers are trying to find homes for the animals.
When deputies arrived at a home on the 1100 block of Highway 41, they found the 58-year-old man lying in the backyard, said Kirsten Gross, Madera County's animal control director.
Deputies were unable to immediately get to him, though, because a pit bull was guarding his body.
Animal control personnel were called in to assist, sheriff's spokeswoman Erica Stuart said, and they found 161 animals: 7 dogs and 154 cats..."  More

Read more here:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dogs seized from trailer, storage locker

State police used a blow torch Thursday to cut the lock on a storage container at the Hillside Commons Mobile Home Park to rescue 13 Chihuahuas that were whimpering inside.

Now, a mother and son are each facing more than a dozen animal cruelty charges for allegedly not properly caring for the dogs and others that were found in their squalid home.

The Schenectady County chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals seized 20 animals from the property off Western Turnpike, including 16 Chihuahuas, a Labrador, a collie, a Shetland sheepdog and a black cat.

Catherine Wallace is facing 20 misdemeanor counts of failure to provide proper sustenance, while her son, Michael, was charged with 13 misdemeanor counts of impounding animals without food or water. The two were released on appearance tickets.

SPCA investigators were contacted by a tipster Wednesday and alerted to a possible puppy mill at Lot 117. When officer arrived, they cited Catherine Wallace with six no-dog license violations and noticed an overwhelming odor of excrement coming from the mobile home..."  More

Johnson Le - San Diego, CA

Jun 18, 2012:  Man accused of abuse after 117 animals seized from San Diego County pet stores

El Cajon resident Johnson Le was arrested today after 130 animals were seized in March from two pet stores in San Diego and Le’s private residence in El Cajon.

Le is being charged with four felony counts of 597 (b) P.C. animal abuse, 10 misdemeanor counts of 597 (b) P.C. animal abuse and more than a dozen violations of the California Health and Safety Code. He is currently being held on $50,000 bail.

The San Diego Humane Society and SPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement served the search warrants on March 27 after a lengthy investigation related to the health and safety of the animals in Le’s care.

In total, 117 animals were seized from the various locations, including 57 puppies, rabbits, birds, a 35 pound turtle and a 7-foot python snake. All of the animals must remain in the Humane Society’s care until further court stipulation.

Le’s trial is scheduled for August.

“We hope the animals will be signed over to us fairly quickly so that they can be available for adoption as soon as possible,” said Randall Lawrence, director of Humane Law Enforcement at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. “I consider this to be a tremendous success that we’re able to protect these animals, many of which had diseases and health conditions and were housed in subpar conditions.”

“Typically, animals that come from conditions like these need a lot of supportive medical and behavioral care,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society. “These animals have received exemplary care from our medical and behavioral staff, and will continue to receive that high level of care until they are adopted. We are 100 percent committed to them.”

Search warrants were served by the San Diego Humane Society at the following pet stores:
- Puppy Star, 6167 Balboa Ave., in Clairemont
- Pet Place, 6512 El Cajon Blvd. in Rolando
- Nadine’s Puppies, 1021 South Coast Highway in Oceanside

To date, the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA has housed and cared for the animals involved in this case, which includes providing all veterinary medical care, food, special enclosures for some animals, and dedicating additional kennel space and extra staffing for the 117 animals. If you would like to make a contribution to support the animals involved in this investigation, donations may be made by mail or on the San Diego Humane Society’s website at"  Link

Mar 28, 2012:  Over 100 animals seized as part of cruelty investigation


More than 100 animals, including 57 puppies, rabbits, a 35-pound turtle and a 7-foot python snake, were seized as part of an investigation involving three pet stores and a private home, officials with the San Diego Humane Society announced Tuesday.
Search warrants were served at three different locations, including Nadine's Puppies at 1021 S. Coast Highway in Oceanside and Puppy Star at 6167 Balboa Avenue in Clairemont, as part of the investigation, according to the San Diego Humane Society.
The animals were seized primarily at Pet Place, a pet store in San Diego's Rolando neighborhood, and the El Cajon home of the stores' owner. No animals were found at the Oceanside location, officials said.
"These animals have been transported, received full veterinary exams and several have received medical treatment and surgery," said Randall Lawrence, director of the San Diego Humane Society. "All the animals are now being housed at the San Diego Humane Society as potential evidence for the investigation."
The investigation centers on the owner of three pet stores and allegations of state health code violations, animal cruelty and neglect, officials said..."  More

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cats rescued from Sevier Co. hoarding home

By: Sean Dreher
A Sevier County man is accused of abusing nearly 30 animals.
William Allen Hood is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals. The Executive Director of Sevier County Humane Society says the organization discovered 18 dead cats in various stages of decomposition, along with eight living cats in Hood's former home on Edgewater Drive in Sevierville.
Hood was charged June 7th. The Humane Society responded to the home May 27th, after the Sevierville Police Department received a call surrounding the home.
"There was feces and urine piled up in extreme amounts everywhere. It was absolutely uninhabitable,"  said Jayne Vaughn, the organization's Executive Director said.
Officers found eight deceased cats and eight living cats according to an incident report. Once the Humane Society searched the home, an additional ten deceased cats were discovered, Vaughn said..."  More
 & video