Originally Posted by raysmom View Post
Here is a prime example of why we need to be careful when we send a dog to "rescue". This "rescue", Humane Sanctuary, was raided recently and around 100 dogs were seized. They were found living in deplorable conditions, along with some cats, chickens, ducks and horses.
Here is a link to the story - THE PHOTOS ARE GRAPHIC - and the first photo is of a GSD. The dogs are now at the Trumbull County pound, which I believe is a kill shelter.
"Deplorable conditions, filth, feces and animals living in there including two dead dogs that the others dogs were feeding off of because they were hungry,"http://www.tribtoday.com/page/conten....html?nav=5021
Dr. Rufus Sparks said walking around Kathy Witzman's property was "like running a gauntlet" because of the number of dogs tied up outside her Gustavus farmhouse."The cats couldn't do it. The ducks couldn't do it. We could barely walk around out there," Sparks said Monday from the undisclosed location where 162 dogs were housed following a raid Friday at Witzman's home at 5175 state Route 87.
In addition to the dogs, 18 cats, two horses, several geese, ducks and chickens were confiscated from the home.
Sparks, a veterinarian at Town & Country Veterinary Hospital in Howland, is one of about 10 local veterinarians assisting the Animal Welfare League with medical assessments and care of the animals. He said two dogs died since Friday.
Barb Busko of the Animal Welfare League said nearly all of the dogs have some kind of medical problem, whether it's dehydration or open sores. Two dogs were in a separate room, one just hours away from giving birth and another due within several days.
A woman who found two stray dogs searched the Internet for somewhere to take them and found Witzman, who billed herself as a humane sanctuary, she said.
"When she saw the conditions the animals were kept in, she contacted the sheriff's office. That phone call kicked off this process," Busko said.
Pleads innocent: http://www.vindy.com/news/2010/feb/1...lty/?newswatch
BROOKFIELD — Judge Ronald Rice of Eastern District Court ordered Kathy Witzman of Gustavus to stay away from animals until a criminal case charging her with cruelty to animals and open dumping is complete.
He also ordered that close to 200 animals taken from her home on state Route 187 on Friday and Saturday become the property of the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County, which is caring for them at several undisclosed locations.
The league says the ruling will allow it to begin finding permanent homes for the animals, though it’s possible some will have to be euthanized.
During a Thursday hearing, Witzman, 58, operator of Humane Sanctuary Inc. for the past 14 years, pleaded innocent to the two charges and was released on a personal-recognizance bond, meaning at no cost.
She told Judge Rice she would try to come up with $2,250 in bond money by Monday to retain the rights for a month to three dogs she believed would not fare well under the care of the Animal Welfare League because of their aggressive tendencies.
“I wish I could keep them all. I just can’t afford the bond,” she said tearfully after the hearing.
Witzman said she realizes her home “wasn’t the Ritz” but thinks that her house, a barn and the backyard where she kept the 162 dogs, 15 cats, 14 chickens, five ducks and two horses kept alive a lot of animals that otherwise would be dead.
“It was a farm setting. This isn’t a million-dollar facility,” she said of the home authorities raided Friday, finding filthy conditions in the house, and dogs that reportedly were not being fed, watered or kept in a humane manner.
Witzman said she accepted dogs from all over Ohio and didn’t turn away breeds thought to be aggressive, such as pit bulls or bull dogs.
Witzman ran a “no kill” shelter, which doesn’t euthanize dogs for having aggressive tendencies, she said.
The raid put Witzman in the Trumbull County jail briefly and sent her 97-year-old mother to the hospital. It came about because a woman from Cleveland “ingratiated herself” at Witzman’s home and then brought other people there who thought dogs should not live outside during the winter, Witzman said.
Witzman said she believes the dogs — most of them living in cages or chained to dog houses in Witzman’s backyard or in a barn — were better off there than dead.
She added that she and her helpers distributed 160 pounds of dog food every day and water to every dog every day — a statement that Deputy Harold Firster of the Trumbull County Sheriff’s office disputes. Firster said he believes the dogs went long periods without food or water.
Witzman said some of the dogs were thin but only because they came to her that way. She said the two dead dogs found in the house were alive when she left but were attacked and partially eaten by other dogs because of the commotion in the house Friday.
Sean O’Brien, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, said that if Witzman is convicted on the animal-cruelty charge, one of the possible terms of her probation is that she be prohibited from being around animals for up to five years. Witz-man’s next hearing in Eastern District Court is March 4.
Witzman said she first started her animal sanctuary in Suffield Township, Portage County, 14 years ago and moved to Gustavus in 2001.
Barbara Busko, Animal Welfare League president, said Witzman’s desire to help animals is sincere, but Witzman apparently was unable to accept that there are limits to what she can do. Unlike other no-kill shelters that refuse to accept dogs beyond a certain number, Witzman apparently refused to turn any animals away and “got overwhelmed.”
The website: http://humanesanctuary.com/dogs4adop.aspx
Scary because they say on it:
The Humane Sanctuary, Inc. requires an application and a home visit.
Because of that...would I have thought them okay to send a dog to?