January 04, 2012Eleven dogs, including one that had a bullet in its jaw and another that was blind, partially deaf and extremely thin, have been removed from a Grantsburg house after their owner recently moved out and, unable to care for them, left them there.
Since Crawford County has no animal shelter, most of the dogs were placed at the Orange County Humane Society in Paoli.
The owner's sister, Anna Raisor of Marengo, said it was a bad situation that, because of a lack of finances, quickly got out of hand.
"She has tried to, since March, to get them a place," Raisor said of her sister's efforts to find the dogs, most of whom are about a year old, homes.
Raisor said her sister and her husband, who moved to Jasper to be closer to their jobs, didn't have money to get the animals spayed or neutered but failed to qualify for financial assistance vouchers.
"And that's how anybody gets in a mess like this," she said.
Anna Raisor holds one of the dogs that was removed from her sister’s house in late December while another of the dogs looks out the window. The dog in Raisor’s arms later was found to have had a bullet in its jaw, likely having been shot after having gotten out of the house through a tunnel the dogs dug underneath the floor.
On Nov. 14, Raisor's sister contacted Tracye Miller, who lives in Orange County just across the Crawford County line and is in the process of setting up a dog rescue. A couple of days later, Raisor also got in touch with Miller about some dogs of hers.
Tanya Tuell, who is the coordinator of the Harrison County Spay Neuter Assistance Program and is with River Valley Humane Society, learned of the dogs on Dec. 20 when she received an e-mail from Southern Indiana Animal Rescue, pleading for help after being contacted by Raisor.
On Dec. 23, Tuell met Raisor at the house. She brought food and wanted to remove a female dog who either was in or about to go in heat.
Raisor took Tuell inside the two-story house as the dogs — friendly and curious of their guests — made their way from room to room, including up and down the stairs. A mixture of papers, clothes, dog food and dog urine and feces littered the wood floors, making for an unbearable odor. In addition, despite the doors and windows having been closed, large holes on the ground-level floor had allowed the dogs to burrow their way in and out of the house until the opening outside the house was sealed.
Later, Miller arrived and Tuell began calling regional shelters about taking the dogs. At first, it appeared that it would be difficult to place them, as several shelters said they were at capacity. However, the Kentucky Humane Society agreed that evening to take the dogs after Jan. 1. Then, that evening, Miller talked with the Orange County Humane Society, which agreed to take them immediately.
Miller and Raisor returned to the house the next day to get the remaining nine dogs, as the female was removed the previous day and a puppy was taken earlier. However, they were only able to get seven, as two, including Tucker, the blind, partially deaf and emaciated dog, hid under the floor, and had to return the day after Christmas.
Miller said that when Tucker, who is about 7 years old and is believed to have been hit by a car at some point, was examined, he scored 1.5 on the body condition scoring system, where 5 is normal. She said his extremely slim frame — his stomach was sunk in and ribs easily visible — was due to parasitic whipworms, but, fortunately, he tested negative for heartworms, which can be deadly.
Tuell said the female who was removed on Dec. 23 was first thought to have a crushed jaw as Tuell noticed the dog drooling blood. However, the veterinarian later determined that it had been shot in the mouth, possibly by someone in the area after it had gotten out of the house through the tunnel under the floor.
Miller said that, as of last week, four cats remained in the house. She said live traps need to be set to catch them so they, too, can be taken to the animal shelter.
Raisor said she is upset about media reports that, according to her, made it seem like she and her sister abandoned the dogs.
Tucker, a 7-year-old who is blind and partially deaf and has whipworms.
"My sister didn't stop taking care of them completely," she said, adding they took turns feeding the dogs. Raisor admitted, however, that they couldn't do so every day.
"She did step up and help with the dogs," Miller said of Raisor. "She did go in there to help."
Tuell agreed, saying that while she has seen definite cases of neglect, she wouldn't call this one of them.
"The pet owners there began asking for help two months ago. No rescue group or individual responded," she said. "Anna even called the ASPCA in New York asking for help."
Spay/neuter assistance available
Financial assistance is available for income-eligible Crawford County residents to get their dogs and cats spayed or neutered.
Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana Inc. provides the vouchers for residents to get their cat or dog spayed or neutered for $20 with SNSI paying the balance. To be eligible, applicants must receive assistance from one of the following programs: food stamps, major V.A. disability, Medicaid, public school free lunch, Section 8 Housing, Social Security Disability, WIC (Women, Infants and Children) or Supplemental Security Income.
Applications are available at the Crawford County Sheriff's Department in English, Breeden Memorial Library in Leavenworth, the Crawford County Public Library in English, Maxine's Market in Milltown, Pappy's Convenience Store in Eckerty and One Stop Convenience in Birdseye. They can also be downloaded online at www.spayneuterservices.org/programs.htm.
The applications, along with a $20 money order to Spay Neuter Services of Indiana, must be mailed to SNSI at P.O. Box 55917, Indianapolis, IN 46205-0917. It usually takes about two weeks for the voucher, which is good for three months, to be issued. Applicants who are not approved will receive a prompt refund.
The vouchers are accepted by the following area veterinarians:
•Edwardsville Animal Clinic, 1254 W. Knable Road, Georgetown, 1-812-923-8479.
•Georgetown Veterinary Clinic, 8420 S.R. 64, 951-3388.
•McDonald Veterinary Clinic, 7749 E. U.S. Highway 150, Hardinsburg, 1-812-472-3103.
•Cross Creek Kennels, 8370 Atkins Road, Floyds Knobs, 1-812-941-1716.
Dr. Barbara Pepin of Cross Creek Kennels in Floyds Knobs also has periodic vaccination and spay/neuter clinics at the Crawford County 4-H Community Park south of Marengo.
Pepin charges a reduced fee for her services at the clinics. Prices vary depending on the size of the animal.