Charges still have not been filed against the dog breeder who was raided in Hurley. The 172 hunting dogs seized from the breeder are quickly taking to the people caring for them. Volunteers from across the United States are providing meals and medical attention to the animals at the Turner County Fairgrounds.
Workers with the Humane Society of the United States typically seek out the nearest fairgrounds when they have a large mission. In this case, they found a livestock barn at the Turner County Fairgrounds in Parker to be an ideal new, temporary home for the dogs.
The dogs are expanding their comfort zone at the end of a leash. They aren't used to being around people and were skittish when they first arrived at the fairgrounds. But the soothing presence of so many volunteers has helped forge a bond between the dogs and their caretakers.
"Some of the volunteers will sit with the dog if it's afraid and eventually the dog will come over and ends up in your lap, even if it's an 80-pound dog," Janell Mathies with United Animal Nations said.
The dogs are fed twice a day and furnished with a steady supply of fresh water.
"We're constantly replenishing water. A lot of the dogs are not used to having the fresh water, so they're going through it like crazy," Mathies said.
A volunteer veterinarian has been checking up on every animal. But the vet doesn't have a lot to go by, since none of the animals come with any medical records.
"So we just assume that they don't have any care with the eye infections, the dirty ears and the ear mites and things like that. We're assuming that they're not getting consistent vet care, so we have the supplies and resources to get them whatever they need," Mathies said.
The toughest cases are being sent to emergency vet clinics. But seeing so much suffering among innocent animals is an emotional strain that caretakers never get used to.
"I try to concentrate on the fact that thank goodness we have them, thank goodness they're not where they were and they're in much better conditions even hear in an emergency, temporary shelter, than where they came from," Mathies said.
Right now, the dogs are considered evidence and being kept in pig pens converted into kennels. But volunteers hope, eventually, they'll all be called pets, adopted by loving families.
Mathies says the puppies are in poor to fair condition because their mothers were in such tough shape. But Mathies says the puppies are responding well to fluids and meds.