Dogs rescued from animal hoarder in Jefferson County

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JEFFERSON (WKOW) – Humane Society of Jefferson County representatives say more than a half dozen dogs and other pets were rescued from poor living conditions at a property near Johnson Creek Thursday.

They says the dogs and cats were removed as a renter was evicted from the farm property at W3733 County Highway B.

Humane Society veterinarian Dr. Kellie Kuzdas says there was sufficient food and water for the animals.  But she says the pets were being kept in barn stalls, with dead rats in one area, feces, and significant garbage.  Kuzdas says the condition of one husky-breed dog was so grave, the animal was euthanized.

Kuzdas says the 58-year-old renter was allowed to leave with five dogs and some other smaller animals, to what she considered an uncertain fate.  She says the rescued dogs and cats should make a full recovery.

“They won the lottery,” Kuzdas says of the rescued pets.

Humane Society representative say Jefferson County deputies on scene to supervise the eviction wrote no citations in connection to the animals’ welfare.

In 2010, the same pet owner was convicted of eight misdemeanor charges of intentionally failing to provide for animals.  She was sentenced to nine months in jail and three years probation.

Kuzdas says there was a more recent incident with the woman involving the surrender of animals.

The majority of the eight rescued dogs were puppies, of an apparent pit bull terrier-bulldog mix.  Kuzdas says two horses were left at the property but under the supervision of caretakers, traps were set in hopes of collecting other cats so as to provide them care.

Humane Society representatives say space for rescued and surrendered pets is at a premium.  Kuzdas tells 27 News she’s frustrated over this owner’s repeated failures to care for her animals and hopes she receives help with her mental health.

Kuzdas says the classification of pets as property allows a pet owner with a dubious history to hang on to animals despite limitations on the ability to care for them.  But she says if the property status did not exist, liability for veterinarians and others caring for the animals would be enormous.

The rescued animals were placed in quarantine at the humane society.

Tony Galli

Tony Galli

Reporter, WKOW

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