A search warrant was executed the morning of Tuesday, September 29, when responders discovered dogs tethered to heavy chains and living in filthy conditions. Some were thin and exhibited scars, bite marks, broken teeth and other injuries commonly associated with dog fighting. Sixteen adult dogs and seven puppies were removed from the property. Dog fighting paraphernalia, including training devices, indoor and outdoor fighting pits and medication common to treating wounds associated with dog fighting were also found on the property.
The dogs are being transported to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location, where they will be provided medical care and behavioral enrichment by ASPCA responders until custody is determined by the court. The ASPCA is working closely with local law enforcement and prosecutors to ensure the best legal outcome for these animals, but their situation is urgent and we need your help right now.
These 23 dogs have suffered so much in their lives. They have been betrayed by the only humans they may have ever known. Your most generous gift today can help give them—and thousands of other animals just like them—a chance at a life free from pain, suffering and sorrow. Please make a donation today.
Update 9/22: The ASPCA has been in Northern California since September 13, providing emergency assistance in the midst of devastating wildfires. Our team has conducted field rescues and home searches, as well as provided critical aid to badly burned animals and inundated shelters.
Here is an important update on our ongoing intervention and rescue efforts:
203 animals, including dogs, cats, goats, pigs and horses, have been rescued and brought to safety
37 animals have been reunited with their families after being separated during emergency evacuations
700 phone calls have been fielded by our ground team, including calls from pet parents searching for their animals.
This post was originally published on September 13, 2015.
ASPCA responders are working to help rescue displaced animals in the aftermath of a devastating wildfire in Lake County, California. We stepped in at the request of the Lake County Animal Care & Control and its animal disaster response team, deploying to conduct field rescues to save badly burned animals, as well as check individual residences for pets and livestock left behind. The ASPCA will also house displaced animals in its 30-foot disaster response trailer, which is customized to shelter animals in emergency situations.
The unforgiving Valley fire swept through and burned 67,000 acres, destroying nearly 600 homes and leaving approximately 13,000 people displaced in the community. Pet owners were ordered to evacuate immediately by local officials as the fire spread quickly throughout the area, which resulted in many pets and livestock being left behind. Reports indicate that local authorities are now escorting residents to their homes in certain areas, allowing them to retrieve or feed the animals.
“We’re pleased to be working alongside the Lake Evacuation & Animal Protection team to help pet owners and displaced animals in the community, as well as support local agencies identify resource needs,” says Dick Green, ASPCA Senior Director of Disaster Response. “The destruction caused by the fire is indescribable, and our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by this disaster—people and pets alike.”
Animals rescued in this operation are being examined and treated by veterinarians at the Lake County Animal Care & Control at 4949 Helbush in Lakeport. Pet owners looking to report lost pets or rescue needs should contact the Lake County Animal Care & Control at (707) 263-0278.
Nearly 50 cats were removed from overcrowded conditions in mid-August at a private residence in Guymon, Oklahoma. The ASPCA stepped in to help at the request of a terminally ill pet parent who could no longer adequately care for her animals.
ASPCA responders, along with responders from the Humane Society of Tulsa, removed the cats from the trailer home and transported them to the Humane Society of Tulsa where they were medically assessed and cared for.
“When we visited the residence, we saw that urgent intervention was needed,” says Adam Leath, Southeast regional director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “It was truly a dire situation where the individual recognized that she had too many cats in her household and needed help removing and rehoming them so she can focus on getting help for herself.”
We are grateful to the Humane Society of Tulsa for their assistance in this rescue.
Although we treat victims of cruelty nearly every single day, Bea’s story is particularly heartbreaking. After being rescued by the NYPD in January, the two-year-old pit bull arrived at the ASPCA with a horrific head wound. She was extremely shy and very nervous around people, and it was apparent that she had suffered grave abuse. We vowed to find Bea a loving home where she could forget her previous pain, and fortunately, it wasn’t long before we did just that. Here is Bea’s Happy Tail.
When Bea arrived at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, she had a large, bloody gash on the top of her head. It was a suspected stab wound. She received immediate treatment, including multiple stitches, and spent over a month recovering in the Hospital. By early March, she was ready to begin her search for a forever home, but it was clear that her emotional wounds ran much deeper than the physical wound on her head.
During Bea’s Behavioral evaluation, we saw first-hand how the sweet dog had been impacted by the abuse she suffered. Bea was incredibly shy, nervous and fearful; she needed encouragement just to walk past things that frightened her. But despite her timidity, Bea was sweet and affectionate with people she knew. Once someone earned her trust, she would gladly jump into their lap and relish their attention. We knew she just needed patient adopters who would take the time to make her comfortable, and fortunately it wasn’t long before we met Molly and Daniel.
Although Molly and Daniel dreamed of adopting a dog for nearly five years, the couple was juggling multiple jobs and full-time graduate school, which made it difficult to think about bringing a pup into the mix. But Molly says, “All that changed when we met Bea. We fell in love with her and just knew we would figure out a way to make it work.”
On their first-ever visit to the ASPCA Adoption Center, Molly and Daniel were drawn to Bea (or “Beezus,” as they call her) and wanted to meet her. “She was really shy at first,” Molly recalls, “But I could just sense that she was special.” We filled them in on Bea’s story and worked out a course of action: To avoid putting stress on Bea, the couple decided to spend a week visiting her at the Adoption Center to build trust and a connection.
“Beezus was the happiest dog with a great personality,” says Molly, “but she was really shy at first and it took a number of visits before she would even come over to us.” Fortunately, their patience paid off—after a week of visits, Bea had fallen for them just as much as they had fallen for her. “I had a feeling that once we showed her love, her trust in humans would rebuild—and we were right!” Molly says. On March 27, they officially adopted Beezus and brought her to her new home in Brooklyn, New York.
In an update a few months later, Molly was proud to report that Beezus loves her new life. “She settled in better than we ever could have imagined. She is right at home here.” The couple was also happy to learn that Beezus is exceptionally well-trained, which Molly calls “an unexpected gift.” She says that Beezus loves all of her neighbors, loves riding in the elevator and loves playing with the little dogs in the neighborhood. “She also adores tennis balls, her Monkees blanket and endless cuddling.”
It take a special kind of adopter to see beyond an animal’s pain to their true potential, and Molly and Daniel could not have been a more perfect fit for sweet Bea. Molly says, “Some dogs love everyone they meet, which is great, but with Beezus, you have to earn the love and it makes it that much more special.” We know that Molly and Daniel earned Bea’s love, and we are so grateful that this precious pup has finally found the home of her dreams.
“We were thrilled to see so many people come out this past weekend to give these animals loving homes,” said Jessica Rushin, Senior Partnerships Manager of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “Now we’re giving the remaining animals a chance to find homes in other communities. We’re grateful to all of our partner shelters who have stepped up and committed to getting these animals adopted.”
The animals are being transported to the following animal shelters and rescue groups:
Atlanta Humane Society – Atlanta, Georgia
Cat Depot – Sarasota, Florida
Cedar Bend Human Society – Waterloo, Iowa
Greater Birmingham Humane Society – Alabama
Great Plains SPCA – Kansas City, Missouri
Helping Hands Pet Rescue – Micanopy, Florida
Humane Society of Broward County – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Humane Society of Charlotte – Charlotte, North Carolina
Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County – Memphis, Tennessee
Humane Society of Tulsa – Tulsa, Oklahoma
Main Line Animal Rescue – Phoenix, Pennsylvania
SouthEast Beagle Rescue – Tampa, Florida
The shelters and rescue groups listed above will care for the animals until they are ready to be made available for adoption. Additionally, some of the dogs who require behavioral rehabilitation for severe fear and undersocialization will be transported to the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, New Jersey, where animal behavior experts will provide treatment to help them become suitable for adoption.