On February 15, Warwick Valley Humane Society responded to a call from local authorities asking for help with approximately 15 loose dogs.
“I got the call at 9:30 that night from the Warwick police that another agency needed help with a house fire,” said Warwick Valley Humane Society Director Suzyn Barron.
The house fire’s location was technically a couple of towns outside humane society’s jurisdiction. But it was freezing that night, and there were dogs in need, so Barron and one other animal control officer went out to help.
They arrived at 10:30 p.m. to find multiple animals loose around the yard. The fire had recently been put out.
“These dogs were frightened,” said Barron. “They were terrified.”
The animal control officers repeatedly canvassed the property with flashlights, rounding up all the dogs they found.
Noticing serious signs of neglect, the animal control officers notified state troopers. Inside the house, more dogs were found hiding under and behind furniture.
After hours of work, the Warwick Humane Society loaded up 18 dogs and a one-winged Amazon parrot into vehicles, and brought the animals to the shelter’s temporary Monroe, N.Y. location.
“It was like, one o’clock in the morning,” said Barron. “But when you turned the light on and saw the conditions of the dogs, it went from bad to worse.”
Over the next three days, more dogs were found and the owners surrendered an additional 21 canines.
According to the humane society, the animals’ owners were originally breeding the dogs, but it got out of control and turned into a hoarding situation.
In total, Warwick Humane Society took in 43 small breed poodle mixes from the house fire. All needed vaccinations, testing, spaying, neutering, and de-worming. Some needed emergency surgeries, others had ear and eye infections. Multiple were severely matted, and needed to be sedated for emergency grooming. One dog’s jaw had disintegrated due to lack of care.
And another pup was badly cut and needed stitches — her medical bill was over $550.
Patient families needed
Some of the dogs are ready to be adopted. But interested individuals “need to know that these dogs need special care,” said Barron. The rescued poodle mixes range from 1 to 18 years old, and have been severely neglected physically and emotionally. None are housebroken, and some are more acclimated to humans than others. All need patient families, and would do best in a home with a compatible small dog, or adopted in pairs.
Adoption applications are available on the humane society’s website.
How you can help
On top of the surplus of new animals, all are in need of serious care, Warwick Valley Humane Society is in the middle of renovating its shelter, currently working out of two temporary locations in Monroe and Warwick.
The best way to support Warwick Humane Society and the recently rescued dogs is to donate online at wvhumane.org/funds to either:
• The Princess Fund, which the humane society reserves for victims of animal cruelty
• The building fund, which will allow the shelter to complete the new building
Both temporary locations have limited storage, with a wealth of supplies to care for the dogs. However, if you would like to donate goods instead of cash, the humane society is always looking for canned pate-style cat food, paper towels, Ecos laundry detergent, heavy duty garbage bags, Simple Green cleaner, and equine pine bedding pellets. Goods can be dropped off at the temporary Warwick location at 48 Ronald Raegan Blvd.