In February 2011, ASPCA responders deployed to Springfield, Ohio, to remove more than 400 neglected dogs from an overcrowded shelter.
The shelter, One More Chance Rescue and Adoption, had been declared a public health nuisance, and with good reason. Conditions at One More Chance were pitiful: Dogs were housed in hog barns dotting the property and lived in stacked crates. The shelter manager, Jeff Burgess, also managed a second shelter in Piqua, Ohio, where 100 animals had been confiscated earlier in February.
“This is an example of a no-kill situation that spiraled out of control,” says Kyle Held, the ASPCA’s Midwest Director of Field Investigations and Response. “The shelter operator intended to save animals at risk of euthanasia, but did not have the resources or capacity to provide adequately for these animals.”
The Clark County Humane Society and Clark County Combined Health District called on the ASPCA to help shut down One More Chance and assist the animals. When our responders arrived, they found 367 living and 76 dead dogs on the horrifyingly filthy property. Our responders immediately set to work helping local authorities collect evidence for possible criminal charges and triaging the animals, many of whom were in critical condition.
“The conditions these animals lived in were deplorable,” says James Staley, the executive director of the Clark County Humane Society. “These dogs were forced to live in their own waste, alongside rats and other vermin. Add to that the stress of coping in a crowded and poorly ventilated environment, and you have animals whose overall health is severely compromised.”
The ASPCA helped set up an emergency shelter for the dogs rescued from One More Chance and later helped find placement and transport for the animals. Some of them were even taken to our Adoption Center in New York.
To learn more about hoarding, please visit our Animal Hoarding FAQ page.