OWEN COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — The Owen County Humane Society is seeking the public’s help as they care for dozens of dogs rescued from a condemned property last week. Authorities said they rescued 82 dogs living with thousands of rats.
Ninety percent of the dogs were malnourished. Many of them were covered in fleas but all of the animals will survive, according to the humane society.
One of the dogs needs surgery to remove tumors from his paws. Another will need an eye surgery. Some of the dogs are expecting puppies.
Becky Brown of the humane society said vetting the average dog costs the shelter about $133.
Vetting the rescued dogs will be more expensive because they have special needs, she said.
Shelter workers are seeking monetary donations and volunteers. Brown said 100 people have already helped out over the past week. Volunteers are walking dogs and cleaning cages. Nearby shelters are even housing some of the rescued dogs.
“We help each other out when we need to,” Rebecca Warren of the Monroe County Humane Association said.
Warren and her team arrived ready to work first thing Friday morning.
“It’s heartbreaking at first, but the best part of it is knowing the dogs are in a better situation now,” she said.
Investigators said they discovered the dogs after a neighbor called to complain about rats. Exterminators said they’re now clearing out thousands of rats from the property.
“Animals get a rotten deal sometimes. We don’t take them as a life that deserves to be protected and cared for,” Brown said. “We’re saying we can do better than that.”
The rescued dogs are not yet ready for adoption, but the humane society is hoping people will adopt other animals to create space.
Police said the property owner could face criminal charges. He helped authorities remove the dogs but did not want to talk to reporters.
If you’d like to help in any way, call the Owen County Humane Society at 812-829-6247.
Click here to visit the organization’s Facebook page.