The 27 dogs that the Hopkins County Humane Society recovered from the Caldwell County hoarding case are on the mend.
Humane Society executive director Dustin Potenza said of the original 27 dogs, the shelter now houses 18.
“They are all doing very well,” he said. “They have shown signs of drastic improvement.”
The hoarding affair made headlines in mid-August when the shelter helped rescue 35 dogs in total and brought 27 of them back to Hopkins County for care.
Potenza said that during his ten-year career at the shelter, this was the most animals the shelter has ever hosted. The second plus was about three years ago, when the shelter took in 22 dogs from another hoarding case.
He said many dogs suffered from sarcoptic mange, a mite that burrows into the skin and causes extreme irritation. About eight of the dogs had heartworms, and many of them had chipped teeth, but no missing teeth.
“I’m surprised it wasn’t worse,” Potenza said. “With them being outside, we really expected 90-95% of them to be heartworm positive. “
He said in order for some dogs to get the care and medical help they need, the shelter needs to work on making the dogs stronger and healthier, so they can handle the anesthesia. One of the ways the shelter had to work with the dogs was to get them to eat normal dog food.
“Looks like they were fed raw meat or table scraps,” Potenza said. “They’re all eating kibble now with no problem.”
The shelter reviewed several brands of food prepared in multiple ways to get them to try eating regular dog food, he said.
As dogs get stronger, they can receive the dental or medical care they need, he said.
Of the original 27 dogs, nine were able to be transferred to other no-kill agencies, 12 are in the process of adoption and six are still receiving medical attention.
“Once the others are healthier and stronger, they will also be offered for adoption,” said Potenza.
He said the dogs’ greatest medical need was a massive tumor found on Suzy, a six-year-old female from the Great Pyrenees. The tumor was removed and found to be cancerous.
“We’re keeping a check on her, doing x-rays just to make sure she doesn’t have any more tumors forming,” Potenza said.
Suzy and Aspen, a three-year-old male, a mix from the Great Pyrenees, had the worst of sarcoptic mange, meaning they were completely bald and Aspen’s skin was red with irritation. Potenza said the hair on both dogs is growing slowly and Suzy has a small Mohawk on her back.
Potenza said the care for the dogs would not have been possible without all the support from the community and across the country.
“In fact, we were a bit surprised by the outpouring of help and generosity from everyone,” he said.
People sent cash and food donations, and the online fundraiser raised around $ 9,000 the last time he watched it, he said. The dogs received free or reduced cost medical help from the Tender Care Veterinary Clinic, Animal Medical Center in Madisonville, and the Mansfield Animal Clinic in Hopkinsville.
“We are very grateful for all the help given in raising awareness,” said Potenza. “These guys won’t want their time here for nothing. “
For up-to-date information on how dogs are doing, follow the 23andUs + 1 Facebook page. To inquire about adopting an animal, call 270-821-8965.