FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control has taken in 26 dogs found in a DeKalb County barn by the state’s animal health board last week.
The State Board of Animal Health was called last week after police in DeKalb County came across a barn overcrowded with dogs. According to a release from Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control, the owner of the dogs agreed to cooperate with law enforcement and the state to bring her dog ownership and breeding activities into compliance with state law.
A day later, the local shelter received 26 dogs from that owner, Director Amy-Jo Sites said.
“Though this case falls outside of our jurisdiction, when SBOAH contacted us, we couldn’t pretend this wasn’t ‘our problem’,” said Sites. “We have a generous community and have a lot of great relationships with several rescues and the Allen County SPCA. We felt we had the resources needed to help reduce the overcrowding situation these animals were in.”
The shelter is working to complete medical evaluations on all the animals.
“Most of the animals that came in, at first blush, just appeared to be happy-go-lucky dogs in their crates. When we got them out that’s when we noticed that there was a further issue,” said Sites.
The dogs are of various breeds, and many were found to have been suffering from severe dental issues, skin conditions and mammary tumors, Hamilton said. None of the dogs had been spayed or neutered. Some dogs did test positive for heartworm. The dogs will also be behaviorally evaluated to determine their needs and potential challenges so they can be adopted through Animal Care and Control, the SPCA or through other rescues.
Sites said Animal Care and Control is working with specific breed rescues to coordinate as many transfers as possible.
The shelter is also seeking funding. Sites said the one-time addition of so many dogs has created an “unforeseen drain” on the shelter’s medical donations and it’s now accepting donations toward the medical expenses incurred to rehabilitate and place the dogs.
Sites said it’s important for people to educate themselves about the person they are buying an animal from to help prevent cases like this.
“I think the frustrating thing for our agency and other agencies in this line of work is we want to make sure that individuals understand where their dogs are coming from so when they do go to a breeder where did they originate from, did they see the home, have they met the parents and have the seen the facilities where they get them from,” said Sites.
Donations can be made to the medical fund online at www.fwacc.org, by mail, or during business hours at 3020 Hillegas Road in Fort Wayne.
The SBOAH is not releasing the exact location of the barn these dogs were rescued from at this time. The investigation is ongoing.