When Alabama animal rescue got the call about a severely overrun shelter, they expected a heart-rending scene. But they never thought it would be this bad.
Local police found nearly 300 animals — three times the legally permitted number — at the Lawrence County Animal Shelter, which owner Bobbie Taylor was running out of her home.
“This is a truly tragic situation,” said Tim Rickey, vice president for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “It was immediately clear upon entering the facility that these animals have been severely neglected.”
Who would do such a thing?
The shelter’s shocking conditions were revealed in June 2015 when a former volunteer came to the police with footage of emaciated dogs crammed into dangerously small cages.
When interviewed for local news, owner Bobbie Taylor defended the shelter, claiming that her animals are only kept in smaller cages when they are initially brought in. A criminal investigation is now underway.
What is the ASPCA doing?
It took police officers and 30 ASPCA staff nearly two days to remove the hundreds of animals from the cramped and filthy warehouse. Their next priority is to find a facility big enough to house them until they can find enough shelters to take them in.
The ASPCA’s mobile animal clinic is on the scene, equipped with vets to offer much-needed emergency care. Sadly, in some cases, rescue personnel are just too late. Local news reports that at least one dog died on Tues., July 2, and several already-dead dogs have been found.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the former owner’s actions continues. The ASPCA is collecting evidence and providing legal support on behalf of the police to help strengthen the criminal case.
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What’s next for these animals?
The ASPCA’s top priority is to provide much-needed medical attention and socialization to these neglected animals. Eventually, and with the help of dedicated shelters, they hope to find each and every rescued animal a loving, forever home.
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