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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