Late on a Friday afternoon on December 16, 2022, Rescue Village learned that 21 dogs and 17 chickens and ducks needed emergency rescue. The animals’ owner had passed away and there was nobody left to care for them. Rescue Village staff put aside their evening plans for what was going to be a long night and began loading vehicles with cages, preparing kennels with toys and bowls, and gathering medical and bedding supplies. With the vans loaded, several staff ventured out into the fading light for a 45 minute drive to the emergency site, a home on the northeastern side of Geauga County.
Meanwhile, Humane Investigations staff was already onsite, along with the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office, assessing the situation – the conditions were grim. 13 large Siberian Huskies were found inside a very small outdoor utility shed in extremely unsanitary conditions. Inside the home, there were seven more caged dogs, including more Huskies. It was apparent the owner had been struggling with caring for the dogs for quite some time. Most of the dogs had not been spayed or neutered and had little to no human socialization. With the sun now set, it took 90 minutes for staff to corral the dogs in cages and to round up the ducks and chickens for the long drive back to their waiting colleagues at Rescue Village. The dogs’ transition into the shelter was difficult and staff had to take their time going very slowly to coax each of the dogs, one by one, safely into a kennel. Next, the staff broke into teams to squirt the kennel cough vaccine into the noses of these very big and stressed-out dogs, along with administering flea medicine and de-wormers.
“Bringing that many animals into the shelter all at once is challenging for people and animals alike,” said Kenneth Clarke, Executive Director, “especially at the end of a long day at the end of a busy week. But, giving vulnerable, homeless animals everything they need is what the staff of Rescue Village does best.” All the dogs needed a bath in the worst way, so a call went out to volunteers for help with bathing them and many came right away to help. Each dog was bathed within days of being rescued and their spay and neuter surgeries followed. Many of the huskies quickly came out of their shell and enjoyed love and affection from the staff. But some of the dogs had a long way to go to learn to trust that everything was going to be OK.
Rescue Village does everything it can to help ensure a fear-free and healthy environment for its animals. And thanks to the tireless efforts of our dedicated staff and volunteers and with the support from so many people through financial contributions and donations, Rescue Village was able to turn a sad situation into a happy one. Most of the animals were adopted and a few of the chickens are waiting patiently for a new home.