Thursday, December 31, 2009

Alumni Update

From time to time we hear from families who’ve adopted dogs from our animal sanctuary in Mississippi, Project Hope. Here are a few recent updates we’ve received from happy guardians of dogs adopted from Project Hope.

J.R. Update

Eddie and Robbie are the proud parents of J.R., short for Jacob Robert. They adopted J.R. from an Every Creature Counts event at Petsmart in Denver when he was just 4 months old. J.R. was initially adopted and returned a week later by his first adopters. Eddie and Robbie stepped up and now J.R. is in his permanent forever home.

JR with Eddie.

J.R. is a smart boy, having completed Intermediate Training at Petsmart - skipping over Puppy Training completely. He enjoys running like crazy at the park, playing ball with his daddies and just hanging out at home with his four cat buddies, Sophie, Galactica, Phoenix and Sugar.

Eddie, Robbie, J.R. and the rest of the gang now reside in Arizona and J.R. loves being back in a warmer climate where he can spend more time in the great outdoors year round. Eddie sums it up best, "we couldn't ask for a better dog, he is a very loyal and loving companion and is very much loved (and spoiled) by his family. Thank you for bringing this wonderful animal to ECC, and giving us this wonderful loving little man!"

Thanks Eddie and Robbie - we're so happy you adopted J.R. and are giving him the life he so deserves.

Rene Update

Rene poses for the camera.

Rene was dumped on Project Hope several months ago by her previous guardian who simply couldn't care for her any longer. Doll and the staff fell completely in love with her and the idea was tossed around to let her live out her life at Project Hope, but Doll decided to give her a chance at a good home and Rene transported her to Every Creature Counts in Denver. Her new family adopted her from a Petsmart event in September. Rene, now named Sophie, has a wonderful new life and spends her days with her new family.

Sonya and Lillian Update

The inseparable Sonya and Lilly.

Lillian was rescued after having been abandoned and starving and was with us for months, close to a year when some dear friends, who’d adopted from us previously called to say they were ready to adopt another dog. They wanted to save an older dog who was less likely to be adopted. Lillian came out to say hello and immediately latched on to the children and actually climbed into their van. They then spotted Sonya, was also rescued starving on the side of the road. I told them her story and she came out to meet them. The choice was too tough to make and the family was on the verge of tears. They left to think things over and within days called to say there was no choice to make, both girls would come home. We were ecstatic.

Ellie Update

We updated Ellie's story back in April, but we love hearing from folks who've adopted dogs from Project Hope and Ellie's mom, Susan, e-mailed us a brief update, so we thought we'd share.

Susan writes, "She is absolutely the perfect addition to our family. She is so very smart and wants to please. Ellie and our four year old yellow lab, Miles, are the very best of friends and spend most of the day chasing around the yard and chewing on their bones. I so made the right decision that day in Petsmart when I saw her in that kennel. Thanks for rescuing her and giving us the chance to enjoy her company. She is a great dog and deserved a second chance. I have to tell you she is just on the edge of being a very spoiled puppy and she loves it."

Thank you Susan for the update. Ellie had a rough time and we're thrilled that she's found such a great home.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Big Cat Follow-up

Cookie ready for transport.

from Doll:

Hi all,

I was in Florida last week for a mini-vacation and visited Big Cat Rescue. This is the group that came to the rescue of Cookie and Alex, tigers, and Freckles, a liger. A Gore Springs, Mississippi man we’d worked with in the past was having to close his big cat sanctuary. Financial problems and a change in life-plans caused him to move from the area. Rita Montgomery, their faithful caregiver, continued to care for the animals for months after her salary was suspended and her husband, Don, our groomer, made needed repairs to their quarters during this time. Not being set up for large cats we reached out for help. Big Cat Rescue came forward. They drove up from Tampa and took the three cats back to their new home. Visiting them brought tears to my eyes.

I first meet Freckles when we took on one of the most egregious cruelty cases we’ve worked. Catherine Twiss bred and bought 86 lions, tigers, bears, cougars, a camel, and Freckles, the liger. These animals lived in knee deep waste, cattle bones, and urine. Their water containers had been chewed far beyond use. The animals were watered when Catherine and her husband walked by their cages spraying hose water into their shamefully tiny, filthy cages. I could go on about the horrid conditions, but I'll spare you the gory details.

The story of freeing the animals from this nightmare is lengthy, filled with victories, much good will and effort, but not happily ever after for all of the animals. These cats would have to adjust to another home and new caregivers. They were however blessed that their new home and dedicated guardians would be with Big Cat Rescue. We’re grateful to this outstanding organization for caring for theses and the 130 other animals they have rescued.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

California Dreamin'

Grady just after arrival at Project Hope in May.

Grady, a Mastiff mix, spent months in the Winona Animal Shelter, in Winona, Mississippi, a prisoner of a five-run outdoor facility, with one barrel in each run and constantly running water, leaving him and the rest of his kennel mates always cold and wet—a purgatory for captive dogs. He had mange, a bacterial infection, and was undernourished. Doll Stanley had seen the miserable dog on a number of occasions, but there was no room for him at the Project Hope sanctuary, and she had to stay focused on getting the mothers and puppies out so the puppies wouldn’t die. And, finally, the day came when she was able to take Grady, and then immediately boarded him at Veterinary Associates in Grenada, where the staff fell in love with him and revivified his physical state and spirit to the point where he was able to go the sanctuary. “Rescue takes time. Unlike ‘Animal Planet,’ there are months of rehab, expenses, and the search for a home worthy of them.”

After Doll started to work with the City Council in Winona, the newspaper editor founded a humane society of which she will be president and is raising money for the new shelter. In the meantime, before there is a more humane facility, Doll does the best she can to help out. In the last year, she saved dozens of dogs from that wretched place. The animal control officer, Charlie Brown—who possesses the heart and, unfortunately, bad luck of the legendary cartoon character—is required to pick up animals all over the area and he doesn’t want to kill them so Project Hope steps in. Grady is one of the chosen.

Grady and his new family.

Doll called me and asked if I knew anyone who might want this well-balanced and handsome prince of a dog, with his now shiny, thick, dark brindle coat. Everyone who asked about him down South wanted to put him on a chain and make him a guard dog. One man wanted to chain him on a property he didn’t even live on to keep coyotes and burglars away. Doll says it so commonplace. “Every animal is unique. There are different circumstances. When you have chosen to help them, you go the extra mile.” And that meant Grady moving elsewhere.

An ad on Any Dog Rescue’s site led to interest from Judy Appel and Alison Bernstein, residents of Berkeley, California, who were attracted to Grady’s noble look and heart-seizing story. Until recently, the couple lived with Sharpie, a Pit Bull mix, who died a few months ago, and were ready to save another life. Plans happened quickly: Continental Airlines was selected as Grady’s ride in the sky because it boasts the best safety record—the airlines moves 110,000 animals per year, and 80 percent go though Houston, which is the connecting flight from New Orleans, Grady’s departure point. Houston operates 14 dedicated PetSafe vans with staffing/runners who specifically bid those shifts because they are animal-besotted and want to make sure everything is perfect for their guests. It is all they do—pick up, drop off, care the animals. Doll drove Grady the six hours from Project Hope to New Orleans (he pouted a little on the way—all the animals pout a little leaving Doll), where he boarded the plane for Houston, connected for his flight to San Francisco, and arrived a little after 8 PM, exhausted and groggy. Judy and Alison brought their two kids, son Kobi, eleven, and daughter Talia, eight, for the big homecoming. Grady needed a little coaxing to emerge from his crate—the cargo facility at SFO didn’t look like the South anymore, and suddenly in the grip of a thrilling and wild elsewhere, he walked out to the rapturous joy of the family and a huge gushing of oohs and aahs. Within a few days of his arrival, he’s been to all the best East Bay parks. He’s also fallen for the kids’ stuffed animals and is particularly enamored of a gray elephant. He’s been sleeping on a bed downstairs where he can sprawl out just because he can.

Well loved.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Transport Underway

Doll and Chele left Grenada this morning in an Enterprise van filled with 46 dogs and cats bound for Every Creature Counts (ECC) in Ft Lupton, CO. They will arrive tomorrow, rougly 24 hours later, just in time for ECC's big adoption event this weekend.

Doll has been having computer problems, so I'm unable to provide any photos of the animals right now, but will update with photos later. WABG TV came out and did a story on the transport. We'll try to provide a link to the story later as well.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Remembering Wilson

Wilson prior to being rescued.

Doll called me this past Friday morning in tears – Wilson had died. Wilson was one of the dogs Doll rescued from complete squalor in Carroll County, Mississippi. Doll would later file charges and win the custody of Wilson and 11 other dogs. Wilson was the sweetest dog, with the best temperament – of the group, Wilson was clearly Doll’s favorite. He was the first dog she’d seen on the property when she arrived and his disposition immediately attracted her attention.

Take me with you.

Wilson was chained to a stake and had very little movement in any direction. His water was infested with mosquito larvae and his food was a sloppy mess, which, we think, consisted mostly of day old bread. As as result Wilson was emaciated and full of parasites. Upon arrival at Project Hope, Wilson was treated for parasites and monitored for weight gain, but he struggled to put on any weight at all. Last Wednesday when he started to appear sluggish he was admitted to Veterinary Associates in Grenada and placed on medication for what the vets believed were ulcers. On Friday morning he died quietly and peacefully at the hospital.

No animal ever comes into your life without making an impact – some make larger impacts than others and Wilson has left an awfully big void. We’ll miss you, buddy.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Horse Neglect

This past Saturday, Yalobusha County Deputy, Jim Bailey received a report of starving horses. When he arrived at the property he found four starving horses and one dead horse. The only horse on the property that wasn't starving was a horse the property owner had acquired just two weeks earlier. The deputy reported the property owner told him that he had been cutting enough grass daily to feed to horses. Clearly this wasn't the case.

Rain rot on her sides and back.

The horses arrived at Project Hope on Saturday evening. One by one as the horses were backed out of the trailer it was clear they were in dire need of immediate help. One of the horses had badly cut his left hock in a failed attempt to climb a fence to get to feed. He was unsteady on his feet and was badly banged up.

Clear starvation and leg wounds.

Each of the horses suffer from "rain rot", a fungal infection, that occurs when the animals are subjected to too much moisture for long periods. Dr. Abernathy came and treated the horse with the wounded leg - we're keeping the wound clean and wrapped. We also treated all the horses for parasites.

Dr. Abernathy gets to work on the leg wound.

Feeding was chaos for the first couple of days. The horses were so starved that they forced their heads in the feed buckets before we could direct them to their feeding spots. Each horse has been nearly single-handedly consuming a bale of hay per day. Yesterday morning was the first time the horses, emus, and pigs all ate in harmony in their designated feeding spots.

These horses reflect just a few of the scores of calls for help we and our partners in horse rescue are receiving. Everyone is overwhelmed and we are at capacity. Just getting to the cases is an daunting task. We are trying our best to guide law enforcement and people in the community to aid the horses they know are suffering. During an interview on "Mississippi Talks" radio on Monday, I let listeners all over the state know that it's time for our statewide disaster response program to trickle down to community efforts to aid animals in the daily disasters of they face.

We are grateful for our supporters and fellow staff who work so hard to see that we can perform the lifesaving work that we do. We'll keep you posted on the progress of these four horses.

Everyone resting comfortably at the Sanctuary.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Victory for Carroll County Dogs!

Applon being seized from the property in Carroll County.

On Monday, Doll was back in a Carroll County courtroom fighting to win the freedom of 12 dogs kept in squalid conditions. This was Doll's third trip to court for this case and the judge finally awarded Doll custody of all 12 dogs. Project Hope seized the dogs back in August with the help of the Carroll County Sheriff's Department and the dogs have been convalescing at the Sanctuary ever since. They are all doing well, despite all having been infected with numerous parasites and being way under-weight. Once healthy these dogs will be sent to Every Creature Counts in Denver to start a new life in a loving home.

Emma, still afraid, but resting comfortably at Project Hope.

from the press release on this case:

Carroll County Court awards In Defense of Animals (IDA) custody of seized dogs

Carroll County, Miss. – On September 15, In Defense of Animals (IDA) was awarded custody of 12 severely neglected dogs. Carroll County Justice Court Judge Jimmy Avant ruled against a claim that the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department and IDA had gone beyond the scope of their seizure order when confiscating the dogs. The court ruled the dogs were lawfully seized.

The investigation was prompted by three complaints concerning the condition of the dogs. On June 26, IDA’s Project Hope sanctuary in Carroll County received two of the calls. Doll Stanley, IDA’s Director of Investigations and the Project Hope sanctuary, responded.

“I saw emaciated dogs chained without proper shelter, their water blackened with filth, debris, and mosquito larvae. A few had dried bread and slop in their pans, two had molded slop in theirs. A hound was confined in a travel dog box for beagles and terriers. She could not sit or stand and the box was laden with filth. Another dog was confined in a feces-laden cage infested with maggots. The dogs had sores, matted eyes, and most suffered skin disorders,” reported Stanley.

Initially, Judge Avant gave a warning and time to the “owner” of the dogs to correct their conditions. IDA’s Project Hope and veterinarians sent letters urging immediate action. On August 6, the judge asked Deputy Brad Carver to see if conditions for the dogs had improved. They hadn’t, so a seizure order was issued, and IDA, acting as agent for the CCSO, removed the dogs on August 7. The seizure took place on Carroll County Road 129.

According to IDA’s Stanley, “When we returned the 7th to remove the dogs, some had been loosed and others had been moved. We enticed and trapped the loose dogs with food. Then, learning the other dogs were moved beyond the residence we went for them. Two were chained in the midst of debris – one was the dog who’d been held in the transport box. The others were confined in what could only be described as pig wallow. Water, feces, and earth had combined to create a horrid confinement of black muck. Two of the rescuers became ill from the stench.”

The “owner” of the dog failed to seek a hearing for their custody, and his son petitioned that the dogs were wrongly taken from the adjoining property. Judge Avant found no credence to the property issue.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Transport: On The Road Again

Doll hugs Miracle just before placing her on the transport to Denver.

Nobody actually enjoys driving for 48 hours of 60 hour trip - I mean come on. But when you're driving animals, who for the most part have lived their lives mostly unwanted, to a place where they are not only wanted, but are treated like little celebrities, it's totally worth it. Of course, it doesn't hurt to be highly motivated and I've never met anyone more motivated to give animals a fighting chance than Doll Stanley.

So today, Doll and Lisa leave once again for Every Creature Counts (ECC) with a truckload of wonderful animals all ready to start a new life in the Denver area. Normally we wouldn't be able do another transport so quickly on the heels of the last transport, but ECC has a big adoption weekend coming up this weekend, so we pulled some strings to make it happen.

Better late than never - here are just a few of the animals who started a new life in the Denver area this past weekend.

Lisa hugs Whitley.


Mike and Joey.

Chapman and Carver.



One last check by Dr. Abernathy before we depart.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

We Need Your Help!

We don't beg lightly, but our wish list hasn't had a dent put in it a long, long time. We're also running dangerously low on funds due to recent transports, vaccines and veterinary costs.

Doll says it best:

Project Hope needs a truck tough enough to pull our large horse trailer. We plan to convert our trailer so that we may use it for transport of dogs and cats as well as horses, emus, pigs and the other species we care for. Renting a truck each time we travel takes resources badly needed elsewhere. We're also in need of a tractor, equipped with a bushhog, blade, and scoop.

We need funds for transports, vet bills, medicine, feed, etc. Our water bill alone is sometimes as much as $300 a month.

We have electric and plumbing work that must be done, and fences that need repair. Many of the dog's resting decks need attention. The dogs play and lounge on them and they take a beating. The decks and buildings that are supported by blocks don't hold up long term and the cement work they need is enormously expensive. We want to preserve what we have and provide a safe and comfortable environment for the animals and we need your support to do that.

Please consider our needs and give generously to support our life-saving work.

You can send donations directly to Project Hope at:

52 County Road 241
Grenada, MS 38901

Please contact us directly at 662-237-0233 if you live in the Grenada area and would like to donate goods or services.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Life of Riley

Itamar arrived at Project Hope with his siblings back in December of last year. Hairless, suffering from mange and completely terrified. Over the next couple of months Doll worked tirelessly to transform these three pups and in late February two of the three (Itamar and Larry) were transferred to Every Creature Counts in Denver.

Both dogs were soon adopted and just a few days ago we received an update from Itamar's new guardian, Tracy - with photos! Itamar has a wonderful new life and new name, Riley. Below is the letter and photos we received from Tracy.

Take a look at some of the before photos and video and it's hard to believe this is the same dog.

from Tracy:

A walk in the park.

He is adorable! We have come a LOOONG way together since he came to my house April 5th. He was SO fearful, so insecure... but he is doing so much better. He makes me laugh and he seems so proud of himself when he gets to run around the park off leash, or walk through town with strangers all around and he doesn't cower from them anymore.

Wrestling and belly rubs.

He is definitely happiest with other dogs around and wants to play with ANY dog no matter size, shape, etc. We have lots of "play dates" and trips to the dog park! He gets compliments wherever we go, he is just so beautiful. This past weekend was his first camping trip and let me tell you - he was in his element. He LOVES being outside, near water, etc. - he had such a happy time. The funniest thing about Riley is how he acts when he gets near/in water. He just goes CRAZY! He leaps around and runs as fast as he can in and out of the water - it is very amusing.

Riley in his element.

I'm attaching some photos - hopefully you can see how big he is! He is about 50lbs now and his paws look big, so he may have more growing to do! I love him so dearly and it has been super rewarding watching him become a confident, happy dog. THANK YOU for all you did to save him!!!!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Transport Follow-up

Doll and former employee, Lisa Martin, who had helped extensively during Hurricane Katrina, transported 52 animals to Every Creature Counts in Denver this past Friday. What is normally a 24 hour one-way trip, took nearly 36 hours because of the long breaks walking the dogs and cleaning cages. They were also delayed saving a kitten off the interstate in Kansas.

Here are a few of the animals starting a new life in the Denver area this week.




Puppies, puppies, puppies






Monday, August 10, 2009

Update for August 10, 2009

from Doll:

Last Thursday, Lauren and I responded to a report that the Winona Pound was again overcrowded and there were pups in with big dogs, as well as a mother and newborns. The sight was tragic. In the first run there were but three dogs, but the larger two jumped the little guy. Moments later, a second fight broke out. There were five large dogs in this run, one culvert section to sleep in and one feeder. It’s just not good enough to hear the Humane Society and the city speak of how things will change soon. They may be getting a grant to build a modest shelter, but how’s that helping all the dogs that are there right now?

Doll removes two of a group of four puppies from the Winona Pound.

There’s no doubt that the lives of the dogs we take out improve immediately, but what about the ones we can’t take. Blue Eyes and Ol’ Man have been there for months. The Humane Society has asked me not to make waves with the city over our disgust with the treatment of the animals at the Pound. I perfectly understand politics, but what about the precious dogs that linger in their sub-standard facilities?

Corey poses for a quick photo at Project Hope.

We did bring Cassie and her three pups home, Nora and her six pups (there were ten dogs in their run), and Corey, the little guy who was jumped. As for the dogs we couldn't get, Amy will help me send photos of them to her Homeward Bound team at Mississippi State. Hopefully we can get them into the program. Again, what about the other dogs? This same scene is repeated in nearly every small town shelter in Mississippi and across the country for that matter.

A Happy Update

Weeks ago I received three frantic calls for dogs chained on Carroll County Road 129. A postal carrier who'd seen the dogs said she got sick after seeing them. I investigated and found the report to be accurate. I gathered the photos I took and contacted the Sheriff's Office and Deputy Brad Carver accompanied me on this second trip to the property.

Doll holds Rosebud just after removing him from his "kennel".

Rosebud in his "kennel".

The Deputy and I went to the property and he fully agreed that the dogs were in danger. I took video as we spoke with Mrs. Applon, the "owner's" wife, and pointed out and explained to her what the problems were. She was cordial.

After leaving the Deputy and I discussed the urgency of seizing the dogs. I went to Justice Court and spoke with the Clerk, who prepared a seizure order and I left the photo evidence for Judge Avant. The seizure order would be carried out under MCCS 97-41-2, a civil statute allowing for the seizure of animals that results in the transfer of temporary or permanent custody when their "owner" is unwilling, or unable to care for them.

Marcus is skin and bones.

The Judge didn’t speak with either me or the Sheriff's Office and when I didn't hear back, I tried to contact him for days. The Sheriff finally made contact with him and was advised that the Judge had spoken with the dog's guardian instructing him to feed his dogs better.

I then wrote Judge Avant detailing the condition of each animal and the environment they were being subjected to. I told him I would have Dr. Busby, of Mississippi State University and Dr. Katz, IDA's President, write him giving their professional opinion. August 6, a week and a month since my first visit to see the dogs, Judge Avant called the Sheriff and told him to go see if the condition of the dogs had improved. The Sheriff reported that nothing had changed. Judge Avant then issued a seizure order.

Maggots cover the floor of this kennel.

On August 7th, Lauren and I, accompanied by Deputy Carver, seized the dogs. They were taken to Veterinary Associates for diagnosis of skin conditions, possible parasite infestation, and general health check-ups. We arrived after closing on Saturday, but Veterinary Associates made themselves available (and we are so grateful) and our Amy, a senior vet student at MSU, assisted with the process.

Today Deputy Carver and I will follow up with the judge for setting the bond for the Applon dogs care for the period given for an "owner" to request a hearing, post a bond, and for interim until the hearing.

On the way to the seizure Friday we spotted CeCe, a pup, fleeing through the tall grass on the side of the road. I was able to gain her trust and she accompanied us on the seizure.

An Unhappy Update

Sorry to end this report with terrible news, but in the 16+ years I've been doing this work I have come to know first hand that not every story will have a happy ending. Our little Raisin, pulled nearly hairless from the Clarksdale Shelter, has died. She succumbed to parvo which she was exposed to at the Shelter. We're absolutely heart-broken over the loss, but we know we did what we could. The only good news to this story is that her siblings, Butterscotch and Winkie, are both doing well.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

16 Years and Counting

August marks the 16th year since In Defense of Animals' Mid-South Office, better known as Project Hope, came to be. On August 1, 1993 Doll officially opened the Sanctuary.

Technically, Doll had already been in Mississippi for several months investigating and working to shut down several dog-nappers who had been stealing people's dogs off the street and selling them to research labs. Jerry Vance was one of the key players in this pet-theft ring and Doll eventually put him out of business.

Below are three news clips from WABG-TV in Greenville, MS that detail the case.

In the 16 years since Doll arrived in Mississippi, she's helped better the lives of thousands of animals. Of course, she couldn't do it without her network of other animal caretakers, whistle-blowers, sympathetic judges, prosecutors, sheriffs and other law enforcement.

I've worked with Doll on several occasions and I can honestly say that I have never met a harder working, more dedicated, compassionate and kinder person. Thanks, Doll, for all your hard work over the past 16+ years.

Please take a moment to send Doll an e-mail congratulating her on her 16 years of service to the animals of Mississippi.

-Eric P.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Clarksdale, MS Shelter

The Clarksdale, MS Animal Shelter has been hell for animals for years. Each time I visited the excuse was they were getting new kennels which would help alleviate the intense over-crowding. The sickening irony is that this "no kill" shelter is in the hands of the Clarksdale Humane Society.

Well, I paid them another visit last week and they have more kennels - many more. It's not as crowded, but I challenge you to find a single healthy animal in the entire facility. Scores of dogs are ravaged by mange, infected eyes, and stressed beyond words.

Raisin, Butterscotch and Winkie now rescued
from the Clarksdale Shelter.

The entrance is wall to wall with cats, with some pups and small dogs interspersed. Local jail inmates fill the seating area and an inmate greeted us and showed us around. After the guided tour from the inmate, I finally found and spoke with two people that were probably staff, although they didn't identify themselves as such.

The second room was crammed full. The walls were lined with fixed cages while the floor was covered with ring pens which surrounded the screened-in cattery. How the cats could endure the noise and stress was beyond me.

The floor was smeared with feces. Loose juvenile pups covered in mange roamed from cage to cage and pen to pen and greeted us.

One pen contained 5-6 completely naked five month-old pups. The dogs that weren't naked to partially naked had patchy rough looking coats. Clearly mange was ravaging the population. All left untreated.

A smaller room in the back held crated dogs. Crate upon crate upon crate. In a bottom crate a totally naked dog managed to thump her tail while gunk oozed from her nearly closed eyes.

Dutchess, the pup's mom, was also rescued.

Outside we were greeted by at least ten dogs running free on the property. Some displayed aggression and none looked healthy. Outside kennel after kennel of large rough looking dogs. So very sad. At least half of the kennels had zero shade with temperatures in the 90s or higher every day. Imagine five dogs trying to crowd into two barrels, igloos or houses to get out of the sun. It was absolute torture to watch.

I could go on and on. I'll just say we plan to join forces with other organizations and veterinarians who will speak out and possibly the health department and State Animal Board of Health to stop this insanity. The health department may engage as the sarcoptic mange could easily be transmitted to humans who dare to set foot on the property.

We grabbed a mom and three puppies - all suffering from advance, untreated sarcoptic mange. Their lives have already gotten better and we'll hopefully provide a happy update to this sad story soon in a future post.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Update for July 16, 2009

from Doll:

Hi all,

We've finally gotten electricity in our cattery! The cats are as thrilled as we are. There have been more than a few dark winter nights that I've had to wear a headlamp to give meds and clean up, but no more! We have some more improvement projects that we'll be sharing with you shortly.

I'm happy to report that Elizabeth is healing and feeling better and Lauren is on new medication to aid with her blood pressure issues. Sanctuary friends Billy and Joe will be helping while I'm in Los Angeles at the AR2009 Conference. Joe is an absolute perfectionist who really knows what he's doing. He helped last summer and then disappeared on us. We're so thankful to have him back.

Amy is preparing for tough tests, but she came to aid yesterday and brought her partner with her today.

Just before Amy arrived the Greens came to visit Christopher, the American Bully pup Mr. Green found in the woods last Saturday. They were delighted to see he was doing so well. Poor little guy - he was covered in ticks, foxtails had bore themselves into and infected his toes, and he was very hungry. Lauren's mom and stepfather are thinking about adopting him.

The Greens asked about Baxter, our fella who lost his home when he and his guardian's grandchild had conflict in the kitchen. Mr. Green will try to help find a home for Baxter.

The Greens hadn't been on site for long when Elaine Adair and a fellow Mississippi Spay and Neuter (MS SPAN) team member arrived. We're trying to find a site for their high volume spay/neuter truck to service this region. Meetings with local vets are a must, as they're concerned with losing business. Elaine is sure she can ease their concerns that the van will compete with them. Mr. Green offered that he will try to find us a site in Grenada.

While we were planning and brainstorming, two young women drove up with a dog (Maureen) who'd been chained and abandoned. Maureen was covered in ticks and most likely has heartworm. Her chest is swollen and the test we gave her today showed positive.

This afternoon we received a call from a dear woman who always calls when an animal in Duck Hill is in trouble. A chained dog (Caroline) who'd escaped a life of neglect and malnourishment, and is riddled with parasites, was on the loose. We immediately responded. We managed to find and grab Caroline and she came home with us.

Friday a couple who are members of the newly formed Winona Humane Society called to ask if we could help them with a neglected dog (Drew). They had been cited for having a dog off leash and fined, even though this wasn't their dog. They tried to explain to the deputy that this wasn't their dog, but a stray they'd been helping, but the deputy wasn't having it. They just couldn't surrender him to the pound, so Drew is adjusting to his new home at the Sanctuary and our friends are very grateful.

Amy's partner took pictures of our dogs who are ready for adoption. Amy will try to get some on the next Homeward Bound trip and will share photos of certain dogs with potential foster and forever homes.

Thursday I went undercover to investigate several complaints. I can't go into detail for obvious reasons, but will provide more details when I can. What I can say is that my goal for the summer and fall is to document as many puppymills and abusive shelters as possible.

It's been a busy week in so many ways and a very good week for the animals we are privileged to help. Here are a few updates on recent animals we've featured on the blog.

Thumbelina is home from the vet and her little face is healing.

Don Geyton called to report that Lucille is doing well.

The Carroll County Rd 129 case has taken a serious turn. The judge has told Deputy Brad he knows the "owner" and "won't take a man's dogs".

I'm going to work a couple of angles to try and change his mind. There is no turning away. More and hopefully better news later.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dog Neglect

from Doll:

I received a frantic call from a man we'd recently helped with the rescue of three puppies. His mail carrier had asked him to call us to report the neglect of some dogs on her route. She told him that after delivering mail to a residence on a dead end street, she thought she’d be sick. She said the dogs were in a severe state of neglect; emaciated, chained and lacking proper shelter.

Water, infested with mosquito larvae.

Slop for food. No idea what this "food" was.

I was stressed by the report. Amy was unable to come in from Starkville to help with animal care, which left me far too busy handling the Sanctuary animal's needs to follow-up on the report, so I called to see if the Sheriff could investigate. Unfortunately, there was only one deputy on duty Saturday, and he was busy elsewhere and couldn't guarantee he'd make it by. That left me no choice but to try and scramble out to check on these poor dogs. At the end of round one of Sanctuary animal care, I went to investigate. Unfortunately, I found the report to be completely accurate. The conditions the dogs were being kept in were outrageous.


I established who the dogs belonged to. Their “owner” was not home, but I was able to speak with his adult daughter about the dogs. She said she'd speak to her father about them, but it was clear from my conversation with her that her father wasn't going to do anything to improve the conditions for his animals.


I documented the neglect of nine dogs and noted there might be another dog that didn’t come out from beneath the dilapidated house next to the primary residence. I will be speaking with the Sheriff and Justice Court Judge to work on seizing the dogs and charging their "owner".

A dog was sealed up inside this old dog box.
It was almost a 100 degrees outside.

We could literally be at cruelty investigations 24/7 and never get to all the cases reported. We'll provide an update to this case as soon as we can.

Get me out of here.


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