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Conditions at dog rescue mobile home reported to be improvingPosted Friday, September 17, 2010, at 11:14 AM
Do you remember the eastern Greene County dog rescue in late July where officials removed more than 70 dogs from a mobile home occupied by two women?
Health conditions for human habitation in the Lawrence Hollow area residence was described as questionable at best by officials.
The situation leading up to officials with the Greene County Health Department and the Monroe County Humane Association stepping in and taking action to rescue the variety of dogs shows there was probably plenty of fault to be spread around among the home residents as well as Humane Society officials from Greene and Monroe counties.
The good intentions of the residents, who really do care for the pets under their roof, simply got out of hand and needed cleaned up.
No formal charges were filed in the case, but the residence remains under the watchful eyes of local officials.
Greene County Health Department Environmental Health Specialist Andera Alltop said at the time of the rescue there were obvious health concerns.
"It was impossible to keep it sanitary with the amount of space and the number of animals," she told me for an earlier story.
The homeowners were allowed to keep nine dogs, Alltop noted.
According to officials, some of the animals were infested with fleas and intestinal parasites. The mobile home floor had been stripped down to the plywood flooring and newspapers were placed on the floor. The walls had also been stripped and chain fences erected as pens for the dogs.
The two women, described by some officials involved in the rescue as mission hoarders, were given 21 days to clean up the mobile home and be ready for a re-inspection to make sure it is OK for human habitation
So is the situation any better today than it was on that warm day in July?
Alltop and Marilyn Crays, the county's public health nurse, visited the site again Aug. 20 for a follow-up inspection.
"At that time we did see a vast improvement in the living conditions. The occupants are working very hard to clean up the property. Upon this follow up visit we observed that much of the home had been cleaned and disinfected," Alltop reported to me earlier this week.
"We are still concerned about the strong odor of urine and feces that still exists in the home that could in part be due to the inability to completely disinfect the wood particle board floors that had been saturated with dog urine in the past. Also, while much of the trash outside had been properly disposed of, there still remain two small piles."
Alltop said a re-inspection will be made in 60 days to determine that the remaining public health issues have been addressed.
"They are still in possession of the nine dogs they were allowed to keep and they had just been returned by Monroe County Humane Association who had taken them a few days earlier to get them caught up on their shots and have them spayed and neutered," Alltop stated.
When asked if the local health department has had any other similar complaints around the county, Alltop replied, "We do not have any similar complaints in the county. We do not typically get involved in animal control issues, but we were able to work closely with Monroe County Humane Association on this particular case to assure that the dogs would be rescued and cared for. The health department's role in this situation was one of public health concern as well as the unsanitary living conditions of the dwelling and the dwelling's lot."
So, it looks like conditions are improving some in this particular case.
This situation begs for some answers.
How did the conditions get to such an extreme before health officials were called in?
What was the role or responsibility of the Greene County Humane Society? I do know that a relative of one of the woman living in the home told me the county humane society had been contacted to assist when a large number of stray dogs started showing up at the home.
For whatever reason, no help was forthcoming and the number of dogs just kept multiplying.
Some of the dogs were even conveniently dropped off because "word" got around that these two ladies had a "soft spot" and love for animals and wouldn't turn away any of them.
This is a sad case that bears a close watch by officials in future weeks and months.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487; by e-mail at email@example.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/page... .
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