Taking care of the rescued
Vail, CO Colorado
We were ready to start at 8 a.m. ” all of us wearing Tyvek suits and other protective gear. The dogs had all been put in wire crates and we knew they were going to be a mess. We needed to build appropriate housing for a lot of the other animals and provide separate male and female quarters for the majority of the species. We started with cleaning, feeding and watering the dogs.
I came upon a three-month old puppy that was lethargic and rushed her to the veterinarian. The poor thing could not even hold up her head. Fortunately, she was just hypoglycemic and bounced back immediately with some honey. The little puppy would get so excited every time she saw me ” it was pretty cute.
It took us hours to take care of all 160 of these animals. Every cage tray had to be scrubbed. We were lucky there was a drain in the warehouse where we could clean everything close to the dogs. Barbara loved pocket pets and she took over cleaning and caring for all the mice, rats, guinea pigs and sugar gliders. The rest of us were glad to relinquish that responsibility to Barbara, especially me.
I got assigned to chicken and duck duty again. They were still in a crate and we needed to build a pen. Marlene and I built an odd-looking, but safe pen for them with chicken wire, snow fence to keep it covered, and zip ties to secure it.
The majority of our day was spent cleaning and caring for the dogs. Out of the 160 dogs, we only had to put caution signs on three. They were not aggressive, just scared to death. Kelly, the veterinarian, had been treating the emergencies and was starting to evaluate and treat the rest of the animals.
We were hoping to start bathing the dogs, but there was not any time. We moved a few cats, dogs and rabbits into the maternity ward, some were about to give birth and three of the dogs already had very young puppies. We did not finish until 12:30 p.m.
I was exhausted and we still did not have any towels or blankets to put in with the dogs. The poor things were a mess. The media came to our rescue today and were making pleas to the public for donations for all the animals. We were soon to see donations start coming in!
After about five hours of sleep we were ready to start a new day. All the animals had to be cleaned up and fed. I had to feed the goats, llama, ducks, chickens and rabbits and then help with the dogs. It was raining again and that kept things cooler for us and the animals.
The animals had not been decontaminated yet, so we still had to wear the tyvek suits, which are terribly hot. Many of the dogs were in crates with other dogs, so to feed them we had to separate them. This was quite a chore since some of the crates had five small dogs. It would take several of us just to feed one group, which caused it to take almost the entire day to feed and clean all the animals.
In the afternoon our first local volunteers began to arrive. At first they slowed us down, but it was such a relief to have help. The dogs had done well, but we did have our first “panic attack.”
We were feeding five Chihuahuas and Rat Terriers that we still had to separate to feed. I had one of the little Chihuahuas on a leash with her food and she panicked and started screaming and biting at the leash. I had to yell to stop one of the local volunteers from picking up the dog. She reached down and tried to grab her as she was snapping around. I got on the ground and tried to coax the dog toward me.
It is so sad to see them when they panic.
All of a sudden she leaped into my arms and I was able to get the leash off of her. After she calmed down, I put her in a crate by herself to eat her food. I apologized to the local volunteer for yelling, but explained that the dog would have bitten her because she was so panicked.
The goats kept squeezing out of the horse panels and snow fence. Barry, a local volunteer, and I had to add chicken wire to keep them in. The livestock veterinarian had come out to examine all the livestock so the horses could go to a horse rescue sanctuary. They were the first to leave for foster care. Donations poured in all day from the local people and we now had pads that we could put in with all the dogs and cats. We did not finish caring for all the animals until 1:30 a.m.
Eagle Valley Humane Society Director Char Quinn shares her journal from her trip to North Carolina to rescue 200 animals ” including dogs, horses, guinea pigs, sugar gliders and a llama ” that had been “hoarded” on a single property.
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