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The Ruff Report: Dogs and Rescue

Rescued dogs suffered for days in 115-degree heat

Sixty-one dogs, including 13 who were left to fend for themselves for at least three days in a dirt yard in the searing desert sun with temperatures reaching 115 degrees with no food or water, have been rescued from a breeder in Arizona, but six puppies were too sick from parvo virus and had to be euthanized.

The dogs - all Basset Hounds - are suffering from valley fever, tick fever, kennel cough and ear infections and one is being treated for heartworm, according to Arizona Basset Hound Rescue.

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“It breaks my heart to know that these dogs that have died from neglect could have been saved if they would have been taken to a vet for care at the early stages," Kim Bruck, president of Arizona Basset Hound Rescue, told Love of Dogs. "The dogs depend on us humans to be there for them and care for them.”

But human care was lacking for these Basset Hounds, Ms. Bruck said. "One-hundred and fifteen is hot and many animals die when kept outside in those temperatures, especially if [there is] no water and no shade as [it] was in this case."

Pinal County Animal Care and Control officers, with assistance from Arizona Basset Hound Rescue, took custody of the dogs (like the one at left in photo from Arizona Basset Hound Rescue) in three stages in recent months. Earlier this year, 28 dogs were voluntarily turned over by the breeder, who was living in the Maricopa area at the time, and 20 more recently were seized by officers during a follow-up visit. The breeder, who then moved to Casa Grande, was found to have left 13 dogs unattended after her property entered foreclosure. Those dogs were impounded.

“We caught up with the owner who assured us that she had not abandoned them but she had to move again due to a foreclosure. She claimed to be feeding them and providing water fairly regularly,” Pinal County Animal Care Director Ruth Stalter states in a media release. “Still, we convinced her that she was in over her head, and we could provide the necessary care and good homes for the animals so she surrendered them to us.”

The 13 dogs just surrendered were living in a dirt yard with a trailer on it and a few kiddie pools filled with water, Ms. Stalter said. The property was surrounded by a chain-link fence.

“A situation like this points out the need for responsible pet ownership, meaning that pets need regular vet care, vaccinations and to be spayed or neutered,” Ms. Stalter said. “This is a sad case of unaltered dogs having multiple litters of puppies and no supervisory medical care.”

Ms. Stalter says the pets will need to go through a transition period. “The dogs will need time, patience and training while they learn how to be companion animals in a new home,” she said.

Arizona Basset Hound Rescue has taken control of 52 of the dogs, according to Ms. Bruck, and they all have been placed into foster homes (like the one at left relaxing in foster care in photo from Arizona Basset Hound Rescue) as part of the rehabilitation process.

Ms. Bruck believes the dogs eventually can be placed into homes and become good companion pets. "I'm very confident that all will be medically cleared," she said.

The rehabililitation of the dogs will be "a costly undertaking," Ms. Bruck said. She estimates the cost at about $400 to $600 for each dog while the rescue organization only collects $175 to $250 for an adoption fee. The rehabilitation of the dog being treated for heartworm will be much more costly.

"The Basset with heartworm will take about five months before she can be ready for adoption, and the costs will be huge for the treatments," Ms. Bruck said.

Arizona Basset Hound Rescue has about 80 dogs in foster care and 22 of them are seniors or dogs with health issues or behavioral issues that will never get adopted, Ms. Bruck said. "All of the dogs are in private foster homes as we do not have a facility, so we primarily need cash to pay for vet care."

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Visit Arizona Basset Hound Rescue to make a donation or for adoption information. Checks also can be mailed to mail a check to Arizona Basset Hound Rescue, c/o Puppy Mill Dogs, PO Box 3056 Gilbert, AZ 85299.


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