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COLLINS, MO (KY3) – The Polk County Humane Society rescued nearly half of an estimated 20 dogs that roamed free near a home in Collins, Missouri following the death of their owner.
The humane society says that the dogs lived in very bad conditions. Humane society leaders have been in a house just outside Collins, Missouri for the past two days trying to find about 20 dogs abandoned after their 87-year-old owner died.
The family asked not to use the late owner’s name in this story.
Those involved in the rescue say the house can best be described as a shack with trash scattered inside and outside the building.
“He had been a hermit for 30 years and his family had no idea what conditions he was living in,” said Tina Pou, the shelter manager at the Polk Co. Humane Society in Bolivar. “The conditions were very sad for him and the dogs, that’s why they reached us.”
On Wednesday, Pou and others found more than 20 dogs in dire condition, covered in mange, and starving.
“The family told us that these gentlemen had lived there for 30 years and had not gone for 30 years and welcomed no visitors. The way they reacted to us, they barked at us and you could tell that they were just very scared, very scared and it just broke your heart. “
By Thursday afternoon, eleven of the dogs had been rescued. Efforts were slowed down by the dogs’ hideous behavior. Those caught are being cared for and nursed back to health in a humane society garage in Bolivar, away from the other dogs for their mange.
So far, all are expected to survive despite a range of medical problems.
“We have eye infections. Paw infections. We’re trying to decide whether it’s just a deep skin infection or maybe frostbite from last week’s cold weather, ”said Angela Jensen, veterinarian at All-Creatures Animal Clinic in Bolivar.
As she passed each dog kennel, she went through the various diseases.
“This boy here has a facial trauma and he has lost a lot of hair on his back.”
“This one is the one that worried us the most. She’s skin and bones, didn’t even have the strength to get up when we went out there the first night. With just two days of care, warmth and food, she is much better. “
Jensen said this situation, while shocking, was not unusual.
“They are dog people,” she said. “They want to take the dogs up and help the dogs. Then they get over their heads financially and cannot afford to be neutered and they continue to have pups. Then her two dogs turn into 10 dogs and snowballs become something like that. “
“It was a very difficult situation,” added Pou. “It kind of surprises you and it completely shocks you when you get into something like this. We have seen many horrific situations that our pets have emerged from, but even when our entire team walked in there, we were only on the ground to see how these animals had lived. “
Humane Society says it may take the dogs a while to be healthy enough to be put up for adoption, but they will post this on their website (polkcountyhumanesociety.org) as soon as an update is available.
They hope that other agencies will help them take some of the dogs with them due to lack of space in Bolivar and are also open to donations to help cover medical expenses.
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