Saturday, March 20, 2010

Trumbull County OH: where BSL victims went to die

Imagine you're forced to consider giving up your family pet because BSL has made it virtually impossible to find insurance for your dog's targeted breed? And you're getting friggin' desperate. And you know that your local shelter is a dead-end - emphasis on dead - because, who in their right mind wants to adopt a dog with overwhelming state restrictions attached? And rescues are beyond full with dogs they can't place? And you're thinking, "Good god - How can I possibly put my beloved to sleep?"

And you learn about a sanctuary that takes pit bulls. A no-kill sanctuary with a warm and inviting website for your family pet; the wonderful dog that's been your steady and loyal companion for months or years. Would you take him there rather than euthanize him? Oh hell yeah, you would.

You and me, and many, many other people. When we learned that a sanctuary in Trumbull County Ohio had been raided for overcrowding and horrid conditions, it almost didn't land on our radar. But I grazed the seizure photos at the urging of a friend and nearly fell over. These are pets - family pets - on chains, starving, some dead or dying, crammed into crowded, nightmare conditions. Dogs that once played fetch and rolled over for treats and hogged the covers and showed up in family photos - left there by desperate people who probably had no idea.



When we say BSL pushes family pets under the carpet, this is what it looks like under that carpet. (Warning: Don't look if you're feeling off-kilter today. It'll ruin your day, I promise) "SANCTUARY"

Not counting the scores of decomposing bodies, the raid uncovered over 162 barely living dogs ... a third of them pit bulls. Of course it did. Pit bulls have no where to go in Ohio.

A judge found the owner of 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 a mental illness, 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.

We're absorbing one former pet from this case - this ding-dong boy here - although I wish we could take twenty. If you're a dog rescuer, I hope you can find a way to take one, too.

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.

Stay tuned for updates. We'll be keeping our ears peeled towards this case and will post updates on the situation, as well as the Ohio transplant who's coming to find a new family in CA.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Made a donation. Thanks for letting us know. Glad you can help one dog, and hope other organizations can get in there a get a dog or two.
Lisa

Burning Moon said...

Oh my goodness. I (stupidly) looked at the pictures and I cannot believe the conditions those poor animals have had to deal with. I'm so glad they are out of there.
Thank you for getting the word out, and of course for taking in one of the little angels.

who wouda thunk it?? said...

BSL is on the table here in Florida, and I am so very worried.

Pibble said...

Thanks for the info - I can't bear to look at the pictures, but I'll have to.

Wouldn't it be nice if the Humane Society would give this poor shelter a hefty grant to help them through? I guess they shouldn't hold their breath.

I'm on my way to donate now. Poor creatures don't deserve this crap.

Shanda said...

Horrific doesn't touch it. Thanks for spreading the word on this one. And yes, those photos will ruin your day...enough to make you take action! Grrrr....

Anonymous said...

I will not look at the photos. I don't need those images burned into my memory. If you say they're bad...I believe you.

I will send a donation, as I did to the shelter in OK that took in the bust dogs. If you say they're deserving, they are.

Why BSL still exits, I don't know. I'd like to think that we as a people, as humanity, have seen enough evil and wrong committed against each other to know that we have it in our power to stop it...in all forms....against each other and every other living being.

When laws are wrong, we have to change them. It's not up to the elusive "them/they" to fix...it's up to each one of us, to do what we can in our own way.

We, each in our own way, can be a step toward fixing our problems. Helping those who help the dogs we love. Giving what we can to the causes we support: our money, if we have any to spare, our time, if we have any to spare. Writing letters to our politicians supporting the ideas we believe in.

We must have hope that the world will change and our family pets will stop being targeted in this genocide.

Turn fear into love and change the world.

s&b/mty

Jenn said...

Donated. Thanks for letting us know, Donna! Can't wait to hear about this boy!

Joel said...

As someone who has spent most of his life in Ohio and lived there with two pit mixes before moving to the Bay Area recently, I can only say that there are plenty of people in Ohio who are anti-BSL and hopefully will be able to turn the tide.

This particular situation is an illustration of the futility of regarding no-kill shelters as the simple solution. My Facebook account has become overrun in the past six months by several friends who are part of organizations that post endless links to animals needing immediate fostering or adoption to escape kill shelters. While I have no doubt that these efforts do help save a certain percentage of the animals, the comments often turn to anger at the kill shelters (which often are located in rural areas) with wishes that a no-kill shelter could be started right next door to “fix” the problem – a short-sighted line of thinking if there ever was one.

No-kill shelters are a wonderful concept, but alone cannot constitute the answer. If the shelter cannot place enough animals, they must turn new ones away due to capacity – transferring more of the burden to kill shelters. If they put heart in front of mind (like this shelter), they take on too many animals and cannot care for them properly. I would like to believe that this Trumbull County sanctuary represents the worst of the worst of no-kill conditions in our country. But I don’t believe it for a second.

In my non-expert opinion, no-kill shelters can only work if there is a large network of rescuers, fosters, and transporters supporting them. It will take an extremely proactive and professional approach which is often lacking. It will take increased public willingness to adopt from shelters and spay/neuter their pets. It will take more efficient communication and a network which to my knowledge does not exist. A no-kill shelter that opens its doors to too many pets will run the risk of winding up like this facility.

Bless these animals and may other shelters learn from this example.

jess said...

Crying and Donating and Crying.

Page said...

I drove up to Trumbull Co last week and pulled a dog from here. A sweet pregnant female Staffy Bull (dog #199). We're calling her 99 for short. She is going to have a good life from here on out!

Bethany said...

Donated my youdata.com earnings and a little more. I grew up in Ohio and was completely ignorant of OH's laws and situation until I moved to DC. I'll be sending the link to this post to friends and family still in OH.

Pam said...

I no longer shield myself from disturbing images after having viewed the picture in my mind's eye of dogs being electrocuted in Vick's pool-- sadly, nothing surprises me anymore. I will send money. Thank you for informing us.

Dianne said...

Thanks, Donna. WARL just last Saturday took in 70 dogs from the HSUS bust of the Mississippi rescue hoarding situation. Yes, its not a typo, seventy. They are covered with mange and scrawny but surprisingly sweet. There are photos on flicker and facebook.

Donna said...

Dianne - How many pit bulls will WARL be finding homes for from this Mississippi case?

The Foster Lady said...

I'd move to a trailer on an acre in a state that allows my dogs....or barring that, they would die in my arms...no one else's thank you very much...and when I die, the instructions are for them to follow along.

This makes me truly sick.

Dianne said...

Donna, I'm not sure I get what your asking. The dogs are all in quarantine because of mange so I have no idea what breeds they are. But we do have three pit mixes under 6 mos old available and they'd be on the website or petfinder. I had a family in this weekend looking for dog to do agility and they had not even thought of a pit until they saw this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQT6XLzPeW4

Dianne said...

ps one of the shelter volunteers told me last night that I really should move to California so I can volunteer with Bad Rap. I think the East Coast needs its version of BR!

Jen said...

Thank you for sharing this harrowing tale. Donation made and link posted to Facebook.

weecyn said...

Hi Donna & Tim - thanks for the heads-up. I donated, and sent them a message and received a reply, which I'll forward to you, because it warms my heart. Here is a snippet:

"Thanks to the collective hearts and efforts of so many people, rescues and shelters, I am happy to tell you that all but 20 have found homes, rescues or shelters where they are waiting for their home. With the continued help of so many we know we will find homes or rescues for these last 20. On Thursday the 25th we will be moving the last 20 to a boarding kennel that was kind enough to board them for free until we find them homes... it was overwhelming but it was worth it. We will give them a hug of happiness for you."

Maureen said...

I will just never learn not to read the blogs while I'm at work. Now I'm just sick and sad.

K. said...

Donated. Thank you for telling us about this so we have the opportunity to help out.

josh said...

made a donation, thanks bad rap for bringing this to light -- thanks good people from ohio for helping these pit bulls. anyone who helps pit bulls will always always ALWAYS have help from me, under any circumstance. God bless.

deborrah said...

i will keep saying this every time one of these tragic situations is uncovered. yes, the pictures are horrible, gruesome, disgusting -- but those dogs LIVED through the horror. the least i can do is bear witness to the tragedy - i look at their pictures so that they will never be forgotten. they WILL live on through my actions and advocacy for all the innocent victims in the hope that someday humans will come to their senses. we must be their voice.

Kirsten said...

Oh my god. Those pictures turned my stomach and made me want to burst into tears and scream. I can't imagine how the rescuers must have felt on the day(s). Truly horrifying.

So glad the animals are out of there. I can't imagine how this kind of thing happens-- surely it takes a while for a sitch to get this bad (although it doesn't appear it was ever good).

I'm not surprised she's going for a mental health exam. Silence of the Lambs didn't scare me half as much as those pix of her house.

Kate Z said...

I am part of A New Leash on Life Rescue in Ohio and we pulled a female pit from this rescue. I wish we could have saved more but at least we saved one. We named her Honey as she is just the sweetest thing and is a beautiful fawn and white color.

She is super shy and will need some work to come out of her shell. Yesterday she finally wagged her tail for the first time ever while enjoying a trip outside. Please check out Honey's page if you're interested in adopting this beautiful girl.

http://www.anewleashonliferescue.com/animals/detail?AnimalID=2283896

Thanks,
Kate Z
(Honey's foster mom)

Missy said...

We pulled two pits from Trumbull County. Stella and Suey. Stella is just a fantastic little brindle girl, and Suey is a diamond in the rough. Suey had been at that "Humane Sanctuary" for a year and a half, and the things she had to endure and witness make my heart break for her.
You can see pictures of them at www.facebook.com/adoptourstrays in the adoptable section

Anonymous said...

We are fostering one of the non-pit dogs from this rescue. Very sad to see the damage a situation like that can produce. Gratifying to see the difference a caring home can make. I never thought we could do this. Glad we are.

Lisa said...

OMG, this story is devastating to read but glad all is better. My bf moved to OH to attend law school and I was gonna go with him but I own 2 pitties and learned about the laws there and knew I would have to stay behind cause I would never give up my baby's...
I'm in CA and it's been 2 yrs, still have my baby's and he has 1 yr left of school then he comes home. It's been hard but I adopted my pitties for life and could never leave them behind.

Lisa "northern california" <3

SAM UTE said...

My name is Sam Ute & I live outside the city limits in Mansfield,Ohio. I adopted one of these rescued pits. Our Dog Stella was transported from Trumbell county(2 hrs away) to our local humane society where she waited for 6 months. Pits are banned in the city limits of Mansfield but an attorney that I spoke to assured me my location was safe from the squeeze against this breed. I have hundreds of photos of her with my family (wife,3 children 5,9,11) and she has made such a wonderful impact on our lives. This hoarding tragedy was awful. Stella has the scars to show for it. She is wonderful now and I spoil her non stop because she deserves it. We are fostering an amputee pit right now as well named biff trying to find him a home. I love this breed. Some good has come out of the Trumbell county heartbreaking situation. I am thanful everyday that we found our Stella :-)

ahitchcox said...

We're coming up on the 5-year anniversary of the Trumbull County raid. We have a pitbull mix we took in as a foster and ended up adopting her. We really spoil her to compensate for all she's been through.