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The Ruff Report: Dogs and Rescue

200 rescued dogs had to share single bag of food

Almost 200 neglected dogs - some roaming free, some in old trailers, others stuffed into wire cages and all having to share just one bag of food - have been rescued in one of the largest puppy mill busts in Oregon history.

The "frightened" dogs - Sheba Inus, Akitas, and several other breeds - were hungry, thirsty, and badly needed bathing and grooming, according to Oregon Humane Society spokeswoman Barbara Baugnon.

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"The dogs ... are experiencing a lot of new things like being bathed, having a meal they don't have to fight for and access to fresh water," Baugnon told MySetterSam. "They are rightfully frighten, but are adapting well."

Members of the Oregon Humane Society, the Humane Society of the United States and the Harney County sheriff's office removed the dogs from a rural property a few miles outside of Burns, Oregon. The Oregon Humane Society took in 131 of the dogs at its shelter in Portland, other shelters took in about 40 and the owner was allowed to keep 20 dogs for now.

"This is one of the largest [busts] in Oregon's history," Baugnon said. A previous rescue involved about 500 dogs at a residence in Malheur County, she said.

The dogs will go through a rehabilitation process to get them ready for adoption, Baugnon said. Staff members in the Oregon Humane Society's behavior department will evaluate their temperament.

"The first step is getting them bathed," she said. "Then they need to be spayed or neutered. Obviously the pets that are more sociable will go through these steps faster than the frightened dogs. We want to go at their pace."

Baugnon said she is "very optimistic" about the dogs being able to be rehabilitated and some could be available for adoption in the coming days. "Dogs are very adaptable and will thrive with one-on-one attention. I believe that the homes that these pets go to need to be coached to go slow with these pets."

The Oregon Humane Society estimates that the cost of caring for the dogs during their first five days at its shelter will be $61,731. Those costs include spay/neuter procedures, vaccines, identification microchips and medical care.

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The Oregon Humane Society says it welcomes donations of cash, food and supplies to help care for the dogs, Baugnon said. Those wishing to donate can visit and click on donate or call 503-285-7722 to make donations over the phone.

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