Breaking news: The HSUS pulls 46 dogs from dire circumstances in Arkansas

By on June 29, 2016 with 18 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

The HSUS Animal Rescue Team and local law enforcement officials descended this morning on a horrific sight on a property in Jefferson County, Arkansas – yet another animal crisis situation in the Natural State. In a darkened house, littered with filth, feces, urine, and junk, lived 46 dogs. Most were severely emaciated, with bald patches where fur should have covered them. The dogs were of all ages, and many appeared to have mange and skin, ear, and eye infections. The smell of ammonia was so overpowering that our rescuers struggled to breathe, even with respirators strapped on.

“The dogs were essentially living in their own waste in every area of the house,” said Chris Schindler, director of animal crimes at The HSUS. “There were thousands of flies all over the place…the sound was unreal.”

The owner of the property had been “rationing” food out to the dogs, and because they had so little, the dogs had been fighting each other for the insufficient scraps provided.

The owner of the property had been “rationing” food out to the dogs, and because they had so little, the dogs had been fighting each other for the insufficient scraps provided. Photo by Meredith Lee/The HSUS

There was no food or water in sight. The owner of the property had been “rationing” food out to the dogs, and because they had so little, the dogs had been fighting each other for the insufficient scraps provided.

The dogs have been removed from the property by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office, pending the disposition of this case. They are being taken to a temporary shelter where they will be thoroughly examined by a team of veterinarians and receive any necessary immediate medical treatment. Responders from RedRover and the Humane Society of Saline County are assisting with the temporary caretaking of the animals, and other groups, including Greater Good, Rescue Bank, Halo, and PetSmart Charities are providing food and financial support for the temporary shelter. The dogs are fairly unsocialized but we believe that with some work they will come around and be ready for adoption. But that will take time.

Our Animal Rescue Team is often on the ground, helping local law enforcement rescue dogs from puppy mill and dogfighting situations. But we also take on cases of neglect, general cruelty, and large scale neglect cases, like this one. The blend of animal cruelty and neglect can be a challenge: with the laws as they exist, there’s often little that we can do to prevent defendants from acquiring animals again and putting them at risk. Law enforcement and animal welfare organizations end up bearing the long-term costs of medical care and sheltering for the animals, and the animals pay the biggest price.

The dogs are being taken to a temporary shelter where they will be thoroughly examined by a team of veterinarians and receive any necessary immediate medical treatment.

The dogs are being taken to a temporary shelter where they will be thoroughly examined by a team of veterinarians and receive any necessary immediate medical treatment. Photo by Meredith Lee/The HSUS

It is important that animal cruelty charges that result in meaningful penalties are in place as a necessary part of an effective response from the judicial system. In cases of hoarding, we ask that the courts impose a period of long-term probation, a ban on animal ownership for these individuals, and psychological counseling. If we are to break the cycle, we must have multiple agencies play a role, including those specializing in psychiatric treatment.

Thanks to the members of our team, our partnering organization, and law enforcement personnel who pulled the dogs out of this nightmarish situation. We’ll provide updates on humanesociety.org.

Help our Animal Rescue Team rescue animals in need »

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Animal Rescue and Care, Companion Animals

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18 Comments

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  1. Lisa Scharin says:

    I would love to work for YOU!!!! I live in South Carolina and know the regional director for HSUS.
    I do video production and can document cruelty and neglect/hoarding situations, etc.

  2. AVIS HOLT says:

    The only comment I have to say is THANK GOD these things are coming to light and THANK GOD we have people like you all to get these poor animals out of such horrible situations. God bless you and God bless the animals. I pray these people are never allowed to own animals again.

  3. MELINDA says:

    THE NEIGHBORS HAVE BEEN TRYING FOR YEARS TO GET SOMETHING DONE.THESE WERE RANDALLS DOGS ,NOT HIS MOTHERS.THAT POOR LADY LIVED IN FILTH HERSELF AND HE DIDNT HELP HER AND SHE DIED IN THAT AWEFUL PLACE.IM SO GLAD SOMETHING IS FINALLY BEING DONE FOR THESE POOR DOGS.NOBODY KNOWS THE HALF OF THIS STORY BUT ALL THE NEIGHBORS ON THAT ROAD.HE HAS HAD OVER 100 DOGS.THANK YOU FOR HELPING.

    • Amitchell says:

      Why didn’t all the neighbors try harder for god sake . All those dogs suffered . So sad . If I was a neighbor , I would of broken down they fence and helped

  4. Shelley B says:

    There are many lions,leopards, birds, etc. Locked in cages in Yemen. This place was a zoo until civil unrest began. The owners of the zoo left and left all these animals behind in locked cages. The animals are starving to death, the pictures are horrific. This story has been sent around Twitter and Facebook at least 2-3 times. The animals need to be taken out of there and need medical care. Some have already died a slow, painful death. Noone seems to care though. A couple of locals are trying to feed the animals, but donation money will be used up at the end of June 2016.have you seen this terrible story? Can you help get these animals out of there??

  5. Debbie says:

    This has to stop! Animals should not have to suffer becaus a person is mentally il. No more animals for these people!! If you can’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of animals! Sad but true!!!

  6. Joe Edgerton says:

    All I have to say is you all ROCK for saving those babies

  7. JoAnna Hanson says:

    Great job done AGAIN by the HSUS!! Thank god for this organization!!!!! Its SO important to keep donating monthly to help assist with these rescues!!

  8. Mary says:

    Are you prosecuting these hateful and ignorant morons????????

  9. Lorraine Fouquereaux says:

    Heartbreaking that humanshe can be so cruel to defenceless creatures

  10. Cathy Pupo says:

    CAN WE HAVE AN UPDATE ON THESE POOR DOGS THAT WERE RESCUED PLEASE? If you report that you rescued 46 dogs in Arkcansas, and asking for donations to help, you need to give an update as to how these babies are doing! This story has been on my mind since it happened and I have NEVER heard another word about it! That does not seem fair to rip our hearts out by their neglect and then not report to help our hearts heal!

    • Vaishali Honawar says:

      Hi Cathy, I am the blog editor. The dogs are continuing to progress under our care. They have a long road ahead of them, but are receiving the veterinary medical attention necessary to begin the healing process. Some of their personalities are beginning to emerge and we are reveling in their opportunity to just be dogs. 🙂

      • Marilyn Hayes says:

        I would like to post that I believe some of the dogs were sent to Florida and are being adopted as we speak. My daughter just adopted a beautiful little fellow, named Archie, yesterday. She has another dog and wanted a companion for her. She took her dog, Mary Jane, to the facility to meet Archie to make sure he would get along with Mary Jane. Mary Jane took over from that moment on. She licked him all over as he had lots of scars. They are getting along great. He is still a bit shy but I think he will come around. Ironically, my daughter is from Arkansas but just recently moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. So they do have a connection. Thanks for all you do.

  11. Tricia N. says:

    We adopted a small beagle from this case, she made her way to Colorado via a rescue. She is the sweetest, happiest dog we’ve ever had. She loves her beagle and redbone brothers and is a perfect fit for our family. Lots of work still for socialization outside of our house, but she’s doing great. Thanks for the great work from so many organizations

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