For immediate release:
Dachshund Rescue of North America, Inc. is involved in what may be the largest puppy mill raid in history. On Saturday August 23, the Humane Society of Parkersburg, Humane Society of the United States, Best Friends Animal Society, Humane Society of Missouri and others sprung into action removing 1,000 dogs from Whispering Oaks Kennel in Parkersburg, WV. Local authorities had received complaints about discharging pollution without a permit and went in with law enforcement to investigate the situation. They found dogs of many breeds housed in small pens with the dogs standing on wire. While the conditions weren't as horrible as some puppy mills, the stench was overwhelming according to volunteers and the shear number of dogs is impossible to care for with 4 full time kennel employees. The owners, Sharon and Edwin Roberts agreed to surrender the dogs and other conditions to avoid or minimize prosecution. We are not privy to those discussions and the matter is still under investigation.
DRNA is helping as it has with similar situations over the past 10 years. We took custody of 138 Dachshunds on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 from a warehouse where the dogs had been taken, vet checked, cleaned and fed. According to Jill Blasdel-Cortus, President of DRNA, "The operation in the warehouse was amazing! There were rows and rows of kennels stacked two high as far as you could see. Probably 100 volunteers tended to the dogs, cleaning crates, washing bowls, getting the dogs checked out by several veterinarians on the scene and then moving them out to various rescues. As soon as we loaded a dog, the kennel was cleaned and disinfected." It took 7 hours to load all 138 dogs that were moved to Tell City, IN and Markleysburg, PA for further vetting and distribution to eleven states where our members are organizing foster homes.
All dogs will be spayed/neutered, have rabies and DHPPC vaccines, heartworm tested and on prevention, wormed, dentals as necessary. A variety of conditions including dehydration, parasites, skin infections and irritations, dental problems such as retained baby teeth and extreme tartar, ear inflammation, eye irritation and infection, etc. have been found thus far and treated. We have a few dogs that are in critical condition though most are in good condition. They will need to be socialized since they have not been handled for their entire life. Most are scared but are not trying to bite. That is a positive sign since many mill dogs have been handled roughly and are terrified of humans. "These dogs are more neglected as opposed to abused" Ms. Blasdel-Cortus added. Dogs will be ready for placement immediately and over the next 3 months and standard DRNA placement fees will apply. Puppies under 1 year of age are $350. Dogs up to 9 years old are $250. Over 10 years or with on going medical conditions are $135. Puppies will be kept with their mothers until they are at least 12 weeks old and the will be alter prior to placement as well.
Ms. Blasdel-Cortus also wanted to remind prospective adopters that foster homes and local shelters are also filled with many other dogs that need homes and that this influx puts additional burden on the participating humane organizations. Not all adoptive homes are prepared for the challenges that can come with a mill dog such as the socialization and house training issues. Please look at all of the needy dogs that would love a Forever Home.
The publicity surrounding this event is also increasing our volume of applications and email inquiries. "Our priority is the care of these dogs so please be patient and allow our volunteers extra time to respond. Email is the best method to communicate with us. In addition to caring for the dogs, most of our members have other full time jobs too. We do not have a central facility or telephone number so generally the callers are getting our cell phones. We simply refer them back to the website for more information and we will try to post any updates on these dogs" said Ms. Blasdel-Cortus.
We have also received several requests from other organizations that took dachshunds in addition to some of the other breeds. Unfortunately they did not consult us in advance and assumed we would have foster space for those dogs as well. We will do our best to place dogs quickly so that we can assist them in getting those dogs into foster care. Additionally another team of DRNA members drove 9 hours on Friday to evaluate and possibly bring in another 6 dachshunds that other rescues rejected for temperament issues. They will be evaluated and will probably need long term foster care. We will update as information becomes available.
Photos will be loaded on the DRNA website as well as dog listings. Please allow us at least 4 days. These poor dogs don't even have names much less an evaluation of what kind of home is needed to assure their successful placement.
As a very positive note on the entire operation, Best Friends disclosed to DRNA volunteers that no dogs were euthanized in this mill closure.
If you would like to donate to DRNA to help pay for the tremendous medical costs associate with the 138 or more dogs, please visit our website http://www.drna.org/ for paypal donations or checks can be mailed to DRNA, 7821 Sabre Court, Manassas, VA 20109.
Dachshund Rescue of North America, Inc.
226 E. Central Ave.
Greensburg, IN 47240