On January 14, 2013 one of the largest pet rescue operations in Oregon’s history took place as the Oregon Humane Society seized 149 dogs from a warehouse near Salem Ore. The warehouse was home the Willamette Valley Animal Rescue which was not only well over capacity but the dogs were being severely mistreated and in most cases starved. OHS Executive Director Sharon Harmon said "The conditions these dogs were housed in were shocking, our hope is to get them healthy and into homes as soon as the legal system allows." The OHS feared that the dogs may be tied up in a legal battle for many months and that they would not be able to be re-homed quickly. However, Jan. 29, 2013 the dogs were all signed over to the OSH and some of them should be ready for adoption in just a few weeks. This is a major break through for these dogs that could have found themselves sitting in wait for months had the Willamette Valley Animal Rescue not signed them over.
Many of the dogs that were seized were severely emaciated and had ringworm, mange, eye infections and parasites of all sorts. The dogs were stacked in uneven stacks of crates with no indication that they were being cared for in any way. There are suspects in this case that have been arrested and charged with over 100 cases of animal neglect. They are the president of the operation, Alicia Marie Inglish; the secretary Amanda Noelle Oakley; and a board member Merissa Marie Noonan. It seems hard to imagine that a business that calls itself an animal rescue would allow animals to be treated in such inhumane ways.
Once in the care of OSH the Veterinarian and Director of Shelter Medicine, Dr. Kris Otteman, started the long task of examining the dogs at their facility. Dr. Otteman said "The condition of these animals is terrible. They lack the basic care needed to survive. These dogs need immediate medical care." In the upcoming weeks some of these dogs will be ready for adoption, others have a long way to go but it’s all a step in the right direction.
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