Woman charged with animal cruelty after 38 dogs rescued
An Ottawa Valley woman has been charged with animal cruelty after 38 dogs were found in what the head of a local rescue agency described as “traumatic” conditions.
Police were called to the home of Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan Township on Tuesday afternoon, where they discovered the dogs. They called Laura Pelkey, president and founder of Riverview Rescues, who said she reacted with “horror and disgust” to what she found on the property.
“They were locked in cages in absolute filth,” she said. “All the males were caged and the females roamed free. It was horrible.”
Pelkey rescued 22 of the dogs that day and returned twice more last week to retrieve the rest.
“I kept thinking about the ones I didn’t get on Tuesday night,” she said. “It’s traumatic. There was a dog with no front legs, there was a dog with a prolapsed rectum. … They’re out of shape.”
Other dogs suffered from facial tumors and bites. All dogs seen by a veterinarian had Lyme disease, she said.
The OPP said in a news release Monday that Tracy Knight, 40, has been charged with animal cruelty. She is also accused of causing harm or injury to an animal by not providing it with enough food, water, care or shelter.
She has been released and is scheduled to appear in court in Killaloe, Ontario. in May.
“Killaloe OPP sincerely thanks Riverview Rescues who have been instrumental in ensuring that all abandoned dogs were rescued and received care,” OPP said in its press release.
The Township of Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan is located approximately 180 kilometers west of downtown Ottawa.
Dogs need foster families
Pelkey and his organization, run entirely by volunteers, sprang into action seeking foster homes or other rescue agencies to help them.
Of the 38 dogs, 18 of them went to other rescue agencies and one was taken to a foster home. Riverview Rescues still has 19 dogs looking for homes.
Because they all have serious behavioral and health issues, none of the dogs will be available for permanent adoption, Pelkey said, but they are still in immediate need of foster families to care for them.
“They’re all really good dogs. They’re so scared,” she said.
Pelkey described the property as a backyard farm, also called a puppy mill.
“People who buy dogs and don’t do proper research are supporting this industry,” she said.
Most of the dogs are Siberian Huskies, she said. There are also German Shepherds. Their ages range from five days to 11 years.
“We try to acclimate them to normal life, not to be locked in cages without water or daylight,” she said.
Anyone interested in fostering one of the dogs can complete this form.
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