March 20, 2010

I could just die

One of the lucky ones found alive at a hoarder's "sanctuary." Photo from the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County, Ohio. They were able to save 162 dogs and dozens of other animals — you can drop off a donation here.

What's the old saying? "Our prayers are answered when we are motivated to do all that we can." Bad Rap tells why help is needed: a self-described "no-kill, non-profit organization" billing itself as a "humane sanctuary" was raided on Feb. 12 by police and the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County, and 162 dogs, 18 cats, 14 chickens, 5 ducks and 2 horses were found struggling to survive in horrifying conditions.

A third of the dogs were pit bulls. No surprise, says Bad Rap — pit bulls have nowhere to go in Ohio:
Courts found the sanctuary owner guilty of misdemeanor animal cruelty and sentenced her to five years probation. Yes, she got in over her head. Typically, hoarders are treated as people with mental illnesses, and you can certainly understand why an animal lover would lose their marbles in a state with rampant puppy mills and laws that send families with pit bulls into a desperate tailspin. Hell, I might turn into a psycho hoarder in her shoes.
And you know you're a psycho hoarder when there are dead dogs in your bedroom. Graphic photos here: feel free to give them a miss. More from Bad Rap:
The surviving animals from this death camp are being cared for by the now very crowded Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County. This struggling organization has an antiquated shelter, a tiny operating budget of only $350K, and now they have the weight of the world on their shoulders as they try to sort out all the animals from this raid, including and especially the pit bulls. Send them your donations, good people. Here they are in the middle of BFE Ohio trying to help pit bulls that no one else wants. I mean, I could just die.
I know times are tough, but if you have a few bucks to spare, the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County could sure put them to good use.

[Also: is it just me, or is March turning into Sicko Hoarders and Troubled Sanctuaries Month? In the news lately: hoarder in San Diego; [Toronto] Animal shelter turned into a ‘house of horrors’; Orange [County, New York] could seize no-kill animal shelter; and now this from Ohio. Holy crap, people. Let's pray things improve for homeless animals.]

Trumbull County OH: where BSL victims went to die


EmilyS said...

we just had a hoarder's neglected/ill/abused animals seized...

and now the newspaper is full of "oh she is so wonderful she cares about the animals" letters...

selkie said...

sighs... the CRAP i keep reading about the Toronto Humane Society, cited here by you, is heartbreaking. You talk about the HSUS and their propaganda machine and PETA and their lies - well, as a 3 year volunteer at the THS I can assure you that it was NOTHING like that. There WERE issues, absolutely - the head of it was a nutbar, a hoarder (a good call for what he was, in hindsight) and a dictator with delusions of grandeur BUT... already many of the allegations by the OSPCA (who raided and still control waht is left of the THS) have been disproved. I coudl go on for pages ... but if you want ANOTHER perspective, feel free to email me. The reality is that SINCE teh OSPCA has taken over, we have seen 750 animals "disappear" - while some have gone to fosters, some to rescues (both awesome things, we volunteers did on the sly anyways), where are the rest? They treat us (the volunteers) like crap - have banned us from walking dogs that a core group of 10 or so of us have walked and interacted happily with for months, even a couple of years in the case of some of the illegal pit bulls, suspended the foster program, refused returns and no intakes... so don't believe everything you read.

Heather Houlahan said...

The photo gallery really is the best antidote to "Oh she really loved the animals" revisionism. Enablers are going to say it anyway, but the photos keep others from inadvertently boarding the crazy bus. But not for the faint of anything.

What always strikes me about these cases is the uniformity of the neglect. All hoarder lairs look the same.

Sure, there are gradations of severity, but there seems to be one lockstep path into the deep crazy that all of them take.

While normal folk who do not follow such things (God bless you, we do so you don't have to) are always shocked at the photos, we who have been dere, done dat have a sort of mental checklist:

* pen with no access, check
* plastic bag with dead kittens/puppies, check
* carpet (and all horizontal surfaces) uniformly coated with ground-in shite, check
* holes in walls/floors containing hiding animals, check
* food bowl full of shite, check
* cleaning implements covered in shite, check
* cannibalized carcasses, check
* dead dog or cat by hoarder's bedside, check

Anonymous said...

Speaking of crap, if volunteers at the THS were actually doing things "on the sly," that's hardly an arguement for the quality of the organization.

Maybe we need a checklist for sketchy shelters and rescue groups.

selkie said...

Anonymous (you gotta love these brave people who identify themselves) - NO ONE has said there were NOT issues at the THS - there WERE and major ones too. However, because Tim Trow was a nutbar does not automatically make the OSPCA GODS and incapable of making mistakes!

All I said was the EXTENT of what was reported was exaggerated. READ what I wrote!!For instance, the PICTURES- there were times when the kennels were filthy - when Tim went on one of his tangents and fired eveyrone - those times did not LAST. Further, when we were allowed back in several weeks after the raid when the ospca had been ruling things, they were in WORSE SHAPE.

Now they're spotless becuase now we have less than 250 animals compared to 1100!! We have capacity for far more!

Secondly, some of the pictures (not all - there were some really sad cases and as I said, we worked quitely to CHANGE things, many volunteers were instrumental in getting the damn ospca IN), were accurate, many were NOT. The THS takes in animals that any other place would just euthanize - I recognized some of those pictures and they were taken WHEN the animals first came in- NOT after they were treated and started to get better!

I ALSO said that we ALL wanted changes- big changes - but what we are getting so far is NO better than what went before - and in some respects is WORSE.

When you have come and spent some time at the THS then COME and tell me, brave commentaor, that I'm full of shit.

I reiterate- jsut because Tim Trow was a nut does not mean the ospca are GODS.

Luisa said...

For more about the situation in Toronto and the bad blood between the THS and the OSPCA, I recommend visiting the blog One Bark at a Time. Here's Fred's latest post on the topic.

selkie said...

Overall, that is not a bad overview; however, always remember there is a bias (including mine, I don't say I'm exempt). Fred is overall a super guy and caring - he does however, lke much of the media have a bias towards the ospca.

Sadly, there is a meeting at the THS today; one of the big issues is our illegal pit bulls. We have been blocked on every corner from geting them out (despite finding them rescues that will take them) ... I'm scared to see what today's meeting brings but will keep you informed.

The pitties are NOT dangerous (with the exception of perhaps one). They are ILLEGAL due to stupid BSL legislation. Otherwise, toa dog, they are sweet, loving, mischievous and wonderful lovebugs. And we are being prevented by the ospca from taking them to a refuge outside ontario - according to the ospca because the Toronto Animal Services won't sign off on them (their words,not mine, I am exploring the veracity of that now).

There are a few other dogs (of the few left) they have labelled "aggressive" - completely subjective and frankly, based on their history, unfair designation. These are dogs that have been there for anywhere from 5 months to more than a year, that many of us have walked, interacted with and loved with NO ISSUES.

I have found the ospca seems remarkably un-canine aware. I have seen them make mistake after mistake with these dogs, including banning them to more than 18 hours penned in their kennels becuase they won't let the same people who have walked them forever, walk them now.

I also was at the meeting fred talks about in his blog but have a fairly different viewpoint; if anyone is interested, I am in his comments and you are free to see another side by clicking on my name.

selkie said...

sadly, an update on our pit bulls. without warning to staff or volunteers, 6 dogs were euthanized last Friday, 5 of them pit bulls. These were pit bulls for whom we had found rescues and which we were just awaiting clearnace to bring them out. 2 had legal status in Ontario (had paperwork showing they were born before the BSL legislation) and THREE potential adopters had come forward to adopt them and been denied.