Sunday, May 10, 1998
Adopt-A-Pet Shelter in Benld ILLinois was recently contacted to help with a
very distressing situation. A local boarding kennel was found to contain 20
dogs whose owners never returned. Some of the owners died, moved away, or just
didn't care. Over the past few years the kennel owner became senile and months
ago was put into a nursing home. She had handled the kennel affairs and
records "in her head". She had a caretaker who was limited to certain rules
and duties. He was not allowed to let the dogs into their outside runs or get
vet care....for YEARS !!!!!
What shelter workers found when they went into the barracks type of kennel
turned stomachs and brought tears. Occasionally the cages were hosed out;
feces were shoveled out; food and water put in; and the dogs never left their
4x4 dungeons. It was damp, very dark and the odor penetrated your clothes.
Shelter personnel were told these animals were crazy, aggressive and unsocialized
since they were without real human contact except for when the caretaker
might have put in food/water. Adopt-A-Pet's shelter director, Lorraine Jackson,
told her workers to see for themselves how bad the animals were.
The first cage door pulled open after a couple of tries and out stepped a
Collie, hair matted and dirty. But with tail wagging and head held high...right
into the workers arms. So much for the first "aggressive" dog. An Airdale was
next, when led outside jumping up and down, throwing all four feet into the air
then gave the shelter worker a big kiss...
The bigger dogs did better physically than the little ones. The majority of
the little dogs were left blind because of being in the constant darkness of their
crates for years and being in close proximity to the floor which was
saturated with ammonia from the urine.
The following is the list of dogs and their condition:
White German Shepherd (Update from new mom!)
Severly underweight--weighs 34 pounds, pressure sores from laying on concrete floors for years. Most of her teeth worn to the
cage. Very sweet dog.
Black Tri Collie
Very matted, dragging clumps the size of basketballs, one front tooth and a few
jaw teeth remaining...severe gum and teeth infection. Very affectionate.
Airdale-condition seems fair...needs to be groomed badly.
Shih Tzu mix?-white
Very matted hair made it almost impossible to walk. Hair on head completely
matted over eyes...vet check results--totally blind from hair mat, ammonia
exposure, and continual darkness. Missing teeth, infected sores on back from
tight mats, heart murmur and fluid build-up. Put on lasix to see if will clear
up with medication. Friendly.
Shih Tzu mix?-black
Matted hair, stress sores, blind (same as above), walks in circles from
continuous circling in cage (might come out of that...doing lots of walks for
Bassett/Beagle (looks mostly Bassett)
Older but in fair condition. Friendly.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Overweight but otherwise seems fair, very friendly. (This is one of the
animals that did get fed on a semi regular basis)
Schnauzer mix (black-Mid size)
Extremely matted but otherwise seems fair condition. Very Friendly, walks good
2 Malamutes (Update! Read about "Tops")
Older, bleeding stress wounds, one has oozing sore on ear, stiff from being
cooped up in too small pens for these big guys. Seem friendly.
German Shorthair Pointer Mix
Pressure sores on feet, large bald raw sore on back, friendly.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Matted and pressure sores.
Stress and pressure sores.
American Eskimo mix
Nervous and hand shy, pressure sores on feet, both ears raw and bleeding. Last
third of tail bald and black.
(Update from new mom!)
Few mats, otherwise seems fair (another that got some food occasionally).
Yellow Lab/Golden mix
Older, cataracts, might be starting with arthritis..Friendly but still somewhat
2 Long Hair Shepherds-Black/Red
Matted hair and pressure sores. Very friendly....was climbing into my lap
giving kisses, eating up the attention.
Small long hair terrier type
Hair so matted the dog seemed twice its size. Partially blind (same as
others), right front leg was caught in its matted hair and had, over time, almost
severed the foot at the ankle. All nerve and muscles are dead and the foot is
twice the size of the other. The dog walks on its ankle due to no feeling in
it. Will be amputated at vets recommendation.
All the dogs were friendly though some are somewhat shy. They are not sure
what to make of someone actually paying attention to them and of going
outside. The windows of the shelter were not even allowed to be opened. Some
of the dogs like the schnauzer mix have been there for at least 6 years we
The last one didn't survive-
Tiny wire-haired terrier mix-if healthy would have weighed about 5 pounds.
Nails were so long they were curled under and imbedded into the feet. Walking
on its wrists. Blind (same as others) deaf, neurological and muscular problems.
This picture is one of where the larger dogs were kept. Note the hoe on top of one of the runs. It was used to scrape the feces off the floor. Remember, these photos were taken AFTER the caretaker FINALLY started cleaning the place up...it looked and smelled 200% better.
Here is another picture of where the larger dogs were kept. Note the hammer to bust open the run doors that are rusted shut, and the air purifiers that we put in there to try to help the smell.
This is where the small dogs and cats were kept.
This is one of the runs where the dogs were kept...most of the pulley ropes to the dog doors had to be replaced. No working lights, windows were never opened, and it took many air purifiers to help with the smell.
Closeup of larger dogpen.
Closeup of small dog/cat enclosure