Second chance at life for seized pups brought to Charles County
Last Chance Animal Rescue helps save 50 of 300 seized Pomeranians
A few of the Pomeranian dogs seized from a home in Wicomico County on April 6 were given a second chance at life last Thursday by an animal rescue shelter in Charles County.
Wicomico County Animal Control said in a press release that it found 200 dogs inside a barn in Salisbury earlier this month, while another 100 were found inside a house on the same property during a routine kennel check. The Humane Society of Wicomico County removed mostly Pomeranians from the property with the majority of the dogs not being in good condition. Authorities have not released the identities of the dog owners and no charges have been filed.
Last Chance Animal Rescue in Waldorf strategically brought 50 of the 300 dogs to their rescue shelter in Waldorf on April 14 after being contacted by the Humane Society of Wicomico County to help take in some of the dogs who had been involved in the hoarding and cruelty seizure.
“Had the dogs been at the home for another couple of weeks there would have been a few dead ones,” said Cindy Sharpley, Last Chance Animal Rescue director.
Sharpley, who is originally from Salisbury, said Last Chance Animal Rescue developed a great relationship with Humane Society of Wicomico County after helping them rescue animals on several occasions in past years.
“I was told that the Wicomico County Humane Society investigated a house with 100 dogs and found 200 dogs in a chicken coop or barn. I told them we can help take 100 dogs into our care,” Sharpley said.
Sharpley went to go pick up 50 of the seized dogs and when she brought the dogs back at 7:30 p.m. that Thursday evening, the animal rescue staff, local volunteers and groomers sprung into action to help set up a vaccination station, microchip station, a heart worm test station and three grooming stations for the incoming puppies. By midnight, all of the dogs were vaccinated, groomed, given flea and tick prevention meds, microchipped, heartworm tested, dewormed, and fed.
“The dogs have some medical issues but are overall relatively healthy. None had been vaccinated and there were no medical records, none were spayed and neutered, and there’s a lot of dental disease. We tended to the immediate needs right away such as the runny eyes, upper respiratory [issues], shaving them because you can see how badly their fur was matted with dog and chicken feces. The skin of the dogs was inflamed underneath and there were also lesions on their paws from walking around on the feces for so long so we gave them manicures and pedicures,” Sharpley said.
Dr. Erin Martinez, Last Chance Animal Rescue veterinarian, said that the dogs came in with a variety of medical conditions such as cataract injuries or previous injuries to their eyes, knee caps not staying in place, heart murmurs, and a few non-surgical issues as well.
“I doubt they were getting very much care where they were found. I can tell they haven’t seen a vet before and that they weren’t cleaned regularly. Remarkably they have all been very well behaved. A lot of times we get snarling from rescued animals or we can’t get them out of the cage because the animals may have never had human contact. These dogs are on the other end of the spectrum and I don’t think they’ve had much human contact but it hasn’t turned them to fear humans at this point. They’re very sweet,” Martinez said.
Martinez said that all of the dogs received a doctor’s exam on their second day of being at the rescue shelter in order to determine preferred treatment for each dog.
Brenda Pate, a volunteer at Last Chance, helped groom the dogs on Thursday evening and throughout the weekend.
“I wasn’t sure what we were going to get when the van arrived but none of them tried to bite us. You can tell they were just nervous. Some of the dogs just fell over into our arms like a baby or like they were relieved to be here. The dogs probably had a good night’s sleep probably for the first time in a while,” Pate said.
Pate has adopted from Last Chance Animal Rescue Shelter many times before and said although she left the shelter each night with sore arms, it was totally worth giving those dogs the attention they desperately needed.
“I like to make them look pretty so our mission was to get the hair off and get them comfortable so that we can bathe them. We tried to save as much hair as we could but when it’s that bad, there was no choice but to shave them,” Pate said.
Currently there are 22 dogs left to be sent into foster homes for two weeks but all 50 of the dogs will be brought back to Last Chance for more medical treatment and will be spayed and neutered before they are adopted into forever homes.
“It was beautiful and inspiring seeing the community come together to help these dogs. This wasn’t a Charles County problem but people from the tri-county region came from all over to help. We are happy to report that the pups are starting to feel better already and are starting to play and wag their tails,” Sharpley said.
Those who wish to help in fostering a dog in need can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Thursday, the Last Chance Animal Rescue Volunteer Coordinator and Veterinarian Technician Laurie Jenkins helped soak the paws of rescued Pomeranian dogs in a solution to help heal the lesions that developed during their hoarding conditions at a Wicomico County residence.