Following the Stone County Sheriff’s investigation into neglect at the facility, Innocent Hearts Animal Rescue acknowledged they lacked sufficient resources to continue to care for the dogs, and voluntarily surrendered them to the ASPCA.
The rescue group has decided to dissolve its facility and contacted the sheriff’s department for assistance, who in turn contacted the ASPCA for resources in removing, sheltering and placing the animals.
The dogs—including Huskies, Labs, Beagles and other medium to large breed dogs—were group-housed in kennels and outdoor pens and range in age from two days to 10 years old. The majority of the dogs were not spayed or neutered and several dogs are pregnant.
The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team removed and transported the dogs to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location, where they received medical exams and behavioral assessments. The ASPCA will continue to care for the dogs at the temporary shelter until suitable placement options are available.
“We’ve pooled our resources from across the country to remove these dogs to a safe location where they will receive medical exams and care”, said Kyle Held, Midwest regional director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “We’re glad that Innocent Hearts recognized they were no longer able to provide appropriate care before this became a critical situation.”
Agencies assisting the ASPCA with the removal, transport and sheltering operation include:
- Capital Area Humane Society (Columbus, Ohio)
- Charleston Animal Society (North Charleston, S.C.)
- Davis County Animal Services (Fruit Heights, Utah)
- Florida Disaster Animal Response and Transport (Bushnell, Fla.)
- Humane Society of Greater Savannah (Georgia)
- Humane Society of Tulsa (Oklahoma)
- Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County (Vero Beach, Fla.)
- Kansas Humane Society (Wichita, Kan.)
- MSPCA-Angell (Boston, Mass.)
- McKamey Animal Center (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
- Monadnock Humane Society (Swanzey, N.H.);
- Nebraska Humane Society (Omaha, Neb.)
- Saving Slim Foundation (Escondido, Calif.)
- Stephen Memorial Animal Shelter (Oskaloosa, Iowa)
- Texas Humane Heroes (Leander, Texas)
- Washington Animal Rescue League (Washington, D.C.)
- Wayside Waifs (Kansas City, Mo.)
Additionally, PetSmart Charities has provided supplies, including treats, enrichment toys, pet crates and food to support the rescue operation. The local veterinary hospital, Nixon Animal Hospital, also offered to provide health certificates for animals seized from the property.
“Caring for such a large group of animals is a monumental undertaking, which we couldn’t accomplish without assistance from our partners who provided much-needed supplies and skills,” said Jessica Rushin, senior partnerships manager for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team.
“Agencies from states as far as California have deployed responders to help us give these dogs a second chance.”