home / Pinal County
PetSmart Charities helps after hoarding cases
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
FLORENCE, AZ – Much needed help has arrived in the days following two back-to-back animal hoarding investigations. Pinal County Animal Care & Control responded to two hoarding cases involving 158 dogs, cats, and birds during the first week of February.
PetSmart Charities is providing $15,500 in grant funding through its Emergency Relief program. The dogs from the first hoarding cases will benefit from $9,500 to assist with medical expenses. Another $6,000 will be used to cover medical expenses for the cats. PetSmart Charities has also provided much needed supplies including:
The first case involved 93 dogs and two adults living in squalid conditions with no running water or electricity. The animals’ owner admitted that they were overwhelmed and voluntarily surrendered the animals. The property was declared uninhabitable and the home’s renters were forced to find other accommodations. County Environmental Health and Building Safety departments were involved in the assessment. The landlord was unaware of the extent of the problem.
- Plastic kennels, cat carriers, and wire crates
- Pet beds
- Dog and cat food
- Kong toys
- Cat litter and pans
- Food and water bowls
Two days later, one dog and 59 living cats were pulled from a house that also contained carcasses of nine dead cats. Two adults were living in the home, which investigators described as “living in a locked litter box that was never cleaned in four years.” After an altercation with Pinal County Sheriff’s deputies, the male occupant was arrested. They were not allowed to live in the property after it was inspected by Environmental Health and Building Safety.
Here is an update on the status of the animals:
At the recommendation of the veterinarian one cat was euthanized due to an acute respiratory infection as well as possible hip displacement with infection. One dog was euthanized due to seizures, malnourishment, weakness, possible Valley Fever, and a severe respiratory infection.
- Each dog and cat has been checked by a vet. Blood work was done on some of the animals.
- Most of the female dogs are pregnant – about 10 in all.
- None of the cats are believed to be pregnant, likely due to infection and poor physical condition.
- None of the animals in either case were spayed or neutered, based on physical examinations.
- Many of the cats have upper respiratory infections and some of the blood work has come back positive for feline leukemia.
- All of the dogs received a combo vaccine and bordatella (kennel cough) preventative.
- Dogs and cats exhibiting signs of respiratory infection are being treated with antibiotics.
- All blood testing needs to come back before spay/neuter surgeries can be scheduled. Animals that are recovering from infections will not receive surgery until they are restored to good health.
“The animals were barely clinging to life and the chance for any meaningful recovery was slim,” Kaye Dickson, Animal Care & Control Director explained. “Fortunately, a vet has come forward with an offer to do the spay/neuter surgeries at a reduced rate,” said Dickson. “This will enable us to stretch the PetSmart Charities grant to cover as many of the animals as we can.”
Dickson said she and her staff “owe a debt of gratitude” to all the volunteers who came forward to help with large or small tasks related to these cases. She said it was especially gratifying to get the supplies and grants from PetSmart Charities.
“They really do ‘walk the walk’ in the way they show their commitment to animals,” Dickson said. “It’s nice to see a hometown Arizona company give back to the community like PetSmart does.”
The owners of the cats have asserted their rights to possess the animals and are not surrendering them. Animal Care & Control will have to take the case before a judge to petition for ruling to award custody of the animals to Pinal County and prevent the owner from possession.
Shelter hours for the month of February will be from 8:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. The adoption offices will be closed on Saturdays in February.
Calls for Animal Care & Control services are handled at (520) 509-3555 or toll free at 1-888-431-1311. For information about lost or found pets or to see information on animals for adoption at the shelter, go to Animal Control on www.pinalcountyaz.gov or use this shortened URL: http://goo.gl/LqALP. Lost and Found is in red near the bottom of the page. PetHarbor is the website used to list adoptable animals at the shelter.
PetSmart Charities / CopaNews.com
PetSmart Charities donated $15,500 to the care of the animals.