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The Ruff Report: Dogs and Rescue

Dogs stuffed into tiny, 'inhumane' crates rescued

Twenty-six dogs, who were found covered in their own waste and suffering from muscle atrophy caused by living in crammed 1.5- by 2.5-foot crates that prevented them from standing or turning around, have been rescued from a breeder in Oregon.

The Cocker Spaniels were covered in urine, which caused severe skin burns, and had feces stuck in their fur, according to the Oregon Humane Society.

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"Dogs are social creatures and like to be part of a pack," Barbara Baugnon, an official with the Oregon Humane Society, told MySetterSam. "The idea of a dog being pent up in a crate with barely any room to turn around isn’t humane by any standard."

The Oregon Humane Society assisted the Sherman County sheriff's office in the raid of the breeding operation called Desert Rose Cockers in Grass Valley. The sheriff’s office reported as many as three dogs were living in single 1.5- by 2.5-foot crate.

The pets are doing well despite being forced to live in deplorable conditions, Ms. Baugnon said. "The dogs are settling nicely. They were examined quickly by our vet here upon arrival. Their teeth are in bad shape and their muscles due to lack of exercise are atrophied."

Aussie Pet Mobile volunteered to bring its mobile grooming van to the Oregon Humane Society to help groom the dogs, and Petco also assisted.

"It is obvious that these dogs were living in pain due to poor grooming”, Aussie Pet Mobile owner Lori Dahlin said on a posting on the humane society's web site. “The mats of hair that I shaved off of them weighed about as much as they do.”

Some of the Cocker Spaniels that veterinarians have deemed to be in good health have already been put up for adoption, but potential pet parents should be aware that they not housebroken nor accustomed to living indoors.

"We like to move at the dogs' pace to ensure they are not too overwhelmed by these new circumstances, Ms. Baugnon said. "For the most part, these dogs appear to be quite social which always helps for a quick placement."

The humane society should be able to rehabilitate all the dogs, Ms. Baugnon said. "I believe that very quickly these dogs will be in new, loving homes."

The rescue comes as Oregon lawmakers debate legislation that would require cages to be large enough for dogs to stand up in and turn around in, set minimum exercise periods and place a cap on the number of breeding dogs allowed at a kennel.

Many breeders oppose the proposal, but the Oregon Humane Society supports the measure.

“Legitimate breeders should have no trouble complying with what are the barest of minimum standards in this bill,” Oregon Humane Society Executive Director Sharon Harmon told lawmakers during a recent hearing on the proposal.

“For most of us, keeping a dog in a wire cage where he can only stand, lie down and turn around is unconscionable," Ms. Harmon said. "But that would be a big improvement for many dogs in puppy mills in Oregon."

The Oregon Humane Society also recently assisted in one of the largest puppy mill busts in Oregon history. Almost 200 neglected dogs were removed from a rural property a few miles outside of Burns, Oregon.

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The Oregon Humane Society says it welcomes donations of cash, food and supplies to help care for the dogs, Ms. 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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