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Monday, October 19, 2009

No shelter license? Okay, then just go away, and let these nice people clean up this mess...

This is getting a little out of hand.    I have seen at least three emails in the last week of commercial breeders getting rid of their dogs.  Puppy mills are liquidating their stock into rescues.  Whether they are downsizing or closing...who knows.  These dogs are usually the ones that the breeders are unable to sell to customers, or sell to other breeders. Sometimes they are just older pups, sometimes they are older breeding stock that are not performing, sometimes they have an illness or defect that makes them undesirable.  These are the type of dogs I get into my adoption program, as do most rescue groups who deal with breeder relinquishments.

Even hoarders are unloading.  A rescue friend of mine from Peke N Chin Midwest saw a car full of crates, and assumed the person was in animal rescue.  She starting talking to the person and discovered that she was a hoarder.  She was trying to get rid of her dogs in the best way she knew how.  My friend took four of them.  Some were fixed, some were not.  They are now!  We did them today.  Overall, they are a pretty healthy little group.  One little pekingese has an eye deformity that makes the eyes protrude too much from the sockets.  The nest the eye sits in is too shallow making it hard for the dog to blink well, and making the eyes more prone to traumatic injury, inflammation, and dry eye.  She has corneal pigmentation as a result which will impair her vision some...but she should do fine in the right household. 

I knew these four dogs were not from a breeder because the lady wrote down little detailed biographies of each dog to the best of her ability.  She must have written these bios up prior to leaving the house with the dogs.  She had notes of any veterinary care they did have, some had more than others. She discussed where she got them, and what their personalities were like.  She cared for the dogs in her own way. For some reason, she recently became aware she couldn't keep them.  Could she not afford the food?  Was she being evicted?  Was she being harrassed by animal control?  I don't know.  But thank goodness she ran into my friend.  These four fluffies are safe, and I hope the others she drove off with are as well.

 In the previous blog, I discussed a group of dogs in the shelter in Missouri.  A rescue call had gone out from a shelter volunteer stating that it was overwhelmed and had gassed 30 dogs the previous week, could someone please help with these dogs.  Looking at the few photos they had attached to the email, many of the dogs were small dogs and many were purebreds.  She had mentioned that there was an overwhelming number of shih tzu in the bunch.  I assumed a breeder had unloaded their stock on the shelter.  It happens all the time.   I found out later they had come from a hoarder.  I don't know if they were confiscated from the hoarder, or if the hoarder recognized her problem and relinquished the dogs...but all of the dogs that were in that shelter this week were rescued according to my source.  I hope she is right.    I took two shih tzu that should be arriving this Saturday thanks to the generous transport volunteers, and dozens of other dogs went to other rescue groups. 

Hoarding contains a group of people that, in my opinion, are mentally in the wrong place.  They are not always aware that they are doing harmful things.  They are not usually intentionally hurting the animals.  They convince themselves that they are rescuing animals, but they are not.  Their hearts are often in the right place, but due to either lack of mental ability, lack of education, lack of funds, their animals often suffer from lack of veterinary care, lack of socialization, illness such as infections, flea infestation, parasitism, and sometimes lack of routine care such as fresh food and water.  Hoarders don't usually make profit from their animals.  They rarely intend to get rid of them once they get them.  They usually don't adopt them out.  They just keep adding to the collection.  They often find themselves living with dozens of dogs and cats, making it impossible to keep the household clean.  They get overwhelmed, until they get discovered.  It is a type of mental illness that keeps them from seeing the damage they are doing.  Similar, I suppose, to anorexia?

Unfortunately, hoarding is very dangerous.  We experienced that locally.

A person in the next town called themselves a rescue and began taking in animals.  She took in stray animals from local small towns. She took in animals from people who no longer wanted them. These owners believed their pets would be safe in this rescue until their new homes were found.  Concerns started to arise, until it was discovered in February of 2008 that the dogs were going without food, without water, and were significantly underweight.  When action was finally taken,  many were found dead.   Here is a link to the case: . 

Local law enforcement did not prosecute.  A wonderful rescue person, fed up and frustrated,  hired an attorney to take action.  The case is active but keeps getting postponed.  A year and a half later, no action has been taken.  Because she had no rescue license, no charges could be pressed against her as a rescue in violation of rescue requirements.  If you are doing something that requires a license, and do not have a license, I don't understand how that is not prosecutable as a violation in itself.  If a person without a driver's license is driving, is that not punishable by law? 

Here are more links to the case.   Photos are graphic, so be aware:
No Animal left behind
Iowa Falls Times Citizen Online
Central Iowa Times

I am not sure if this case is a true hoarding case, or a person that is just incapable of caring about the animals she took in.  I know of many groups that took the responsibility of rescuing the remaining animals that were alive.
and many more!

But I have to wonder why it takes so much effort to prosecute the offenders in animal abuse or neglect cases.   These acts are are proven to be linked to child abuse and violent behavior. 

Why is it that it is okay to perform these illegal and unethical acts without punishment?

Here is another perfect example of a woman allowed to violate animal welfare laws and getting away with a slap on the wrist.  A Great Dane was Imprisoned in a Small Crate .  Fortunately, Animal Control followed up on the owner's previous violation, yes she had a previous violation, and discovered the large dog in a very small carrier.  Her punishment?  Community service at the animal shelter.  Some people think she should not be allowed around animals.  Small shelters are so overwhelmed, that heck ya, lets put her to work cleaning litter boxes and scooping poop under supervision.  But for this to be her ONLY punishment is not right.  Doing just this community service is not going to make her see her offense in it's true light.  I will say this.  She lost her job as a result of the cruel nature of these charges.  That's more than I can say for a lot of other animal welfare law offender's, convicted or not...

Are you listening Michael Vick?


ameow2002 said...

If you would like more info on the Hardin Co case please contact me and i can fill you in. I would also like to ask anyone who is disturbed by this and the lack of action by law enforcement to make a polite phone call to the Hardin Co Attorney, Randall Tilton @ 641-939-8118 to express your outrage at the fact that this woman has yet to go to trial over this almost 2 years later. Also a polite letter to the Honorable Judge, Kim Riley c/o Clerk of court, Hardin County courthouse,1215 Edgington Ave, Eldora Ia 50627 to ask that Michele be punished to the fullest extent of the law (which isn't much) and that she be banned from EVER owning animals again. Recently she had several dogs removed from her, in the county she has fled to, again due to neglect but they were returned after she paid a boarding fee at the local vet and got their shors updated! Where is the justice? 15 animals dead,45 severely neglected and emaciated and she is doing it again!!!This is no mental illness but a scammer and con artist who plays on public sympathy to pay her way. Not the first time she has played this game and obviously won't be the last...unless she is stopped. Please help...we are their voice. Report cruelty and neglect, and KEEP reporting it even if law enforcement doesn't respond. It is the right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Michelle K is not a hoarder, she is a squatter and a scammer. Doesn't pay her bills hops from one residence to the next when evicted. Leaving dead animals and bills behind, and everyone else cleans up and pays for her messes.
Her "Pet Graveyard" that she called a No Kill Rescue was just another scam, thinking she could make money off these dogs, what she wasn't prepared for was the work it entailed, it isn't a flea market like she likes to get herself involved in but animals that needed and deserved proper care.
And then to have Hardin County officials allow this all to go on and on and on, quite frankly the Supervisors, County Attorney, Sheriff and his cronies should sit along side of her in a cell.
But then she also scammed the Social Services with the digusting care of her children, and it appears they will continue her cycle of destruction.
Or maybe all of these people are just as lazy as she is and plain refused to do their jobs? HOPEFULLY justice will be served and sooner instead of later!

A Donater to this cause of getting justice for these animals!

Immydog said...

I agree with you 100%. I think I just was kind of letting my mind progress from one topic to the next. Hoarders usually don't neglect the dogs to death. They do their best. Michele never did her best, and to let dogs die or just leave them behind to die is not a true hoarder. Thanks for being a point was to direct people to the case. Hope I did that!

Anonymous said...

I loved your blog. I have first hand knowledge of her trashy lifestyle, I saw and smelled it and now spend money to call her to task!
And that PAID officials from the DHS and Sheriffs dept did not do their job, well, let's just say they are as bad or worse then she.
In the little bible belt we live in where people sit in the same pews each Sunday and are proud to be a Christian, it is unfortunate that these same people would walk over a dog carcass or injured animal and never look back, hence the first quote.
I would like to think the Hardin County officials are good, honest people but in this situation I think not! Hence the second quote below. Keep blogging! ;-)

"Personally, I would not give a fig for any man's religion whose horse, cat and dog do not feel its benefits. Life in any form is our perpetual responsibility". S. Parkes Cadman

"The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people." MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.