A spotlight has been focused on Wythe County, Virginia, as 11 canines were discovered lining in a controversial primitive box. As national media attention and protesters demanded that something be done about this situation, the Guardians of Rescue (GoR), based in New York, swooped in to help provide those same dogs with a new shelter.
Complaints, rumors and protests poured in about Michael Thomas abusing his dogs. The reports issued stated that Thomas had his dogs living in squalor with a lack of food and water. When GoR heard the rumors, they immediately stepped in to evaluate the situation. Since they are a nation-wide animal rescue organization, they have seen it all, and in this instance, they found that there was slightly more to the story than was being stated.
GoR determined during their investigation that the animals were not in danger. This was also decided by the local and state authorities as well.
On Saturday, March 22nd, the Guardians of Rescue will help Mr. Thomas by placing a 10’ by 16’ doghouse on his property. This way he can keep his dogs and they will have better shelter.
“We heard about the dogs being ill-treated and we instantly sent a representative to visit the property,” affirms Robert Misseri, founder and president of Guardians of Rescue. “We also sent a private investigator to look into the accusations about the dog’s owner, Michael Thomas. “While Mr. Thomas is not the most ideal pet owner, he is not intentionally neglecting the animals. Instead, he lacks the resources to provide them with more. If this was intentional neglect, we would have taken another approach.”
Instead of finding the animals suffering of malnourishment and a lack of hygiene, the dogs were actually in good health. The makeshift plywood shelter was primitive, but no worse off than their owner’s trailer without electricity or running water. While Thomas couldn’t provide a better shelter, he proved to be a devoted owner. He goes to the store weekly to get water and food for the dogs, putting their needs before his own.
“The ideal situation would be for Mr. Thomas to surrender the dogs and find loving homes but that’s not a reality,” affirms Dori Scofield, vice president of Guardians of Rescue. “We are realists and our focus is on providing him with the proper education and resources to make sure the dogs live a healthy life.”
The doghouse that will be delivered will have five windows and two 10’ by 20’ pens for the dogs. A local animal welfare group will be checking on them to see if they need anything else, such as flea treatment. Guardians of Rescue will be footing the bill for any and all vet care. The animal rescue organization plans to stay on this, as they do with all of their cases.
“Thomas suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury, which makes him hard to understand, but he cares a lot about his dogs,” affirms Misseri. “He said he wouldn’t give up his pets for a million dollars, but he welcomed our help in providing a shelter for his dogs. If we walk away from these animals and not provide the shelter or compassion that they need, then we are equally as negligent.”
This is not the first dance that the Guardians of Rescue have been to, nor will it be their last. If you would like to find out more about this nationwide pet rescue organization, go to http://guardiansofrescue.org/.