KNOXVILLE, Iowa -- "Their spirits, we`ve seen a huge improvement on that. They seem to have settled down a lot more, where it was a lot more stressful at first, so emotionally, they`re doing a lot better," said Stephanie Filer, spokesperson for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. The rescued dogs have been in the care of the ARL for almost three weeks now. With regular feeding schedules, antibiotics, and lots of TLC, they're doing remarkably well.
This is what the 19 dogs looked like when they were rescued from off of three properties in Warren County earlier this month. The dogs have come a long way since then. "Part of what we were able to do during the past three weeks is really teach them how to trust people again, from the situation that they came from, not knowing when they`re going to eat and how they`re going to be treated by humans causes a lot of stress and anxiety for animals, just as it would for anyone who's dependent on someone else for their care," said Filer.
Introducing stability establishes trust. "Once we`ve gotten into that routine, they`ve seen that they can trust people and that everyone that they`ve experienced with since they`ve been in our care has been a positive experience, whether we`re bringing them food or bringing them treats or just bringing them some love, they`ve all seen that and know that they can start to take a deep breath and relax and begin to trust people and know that our goal is to show them that people can be and should be good," said Filer.
But despite the progress that's been made, challenges do remain. "Physically, we do still have several that are going to need some ongoing treatment, Several that will need surgeries, several more that are heart worm positive, that will need treatment for that, and...a couple that have been identified that will need some behavior rehabilitation as well," said Filer.
The pup that was in the most dire situation is being treated at the Iowa Veterinary Referral Center. “All 19 were so lucky to have been rescued when they were and I don’t think people realize how close it could have been for all of those dogs. A lot of them were seriously underweight. They were all seriously dehydrated and this dog in particular had been seriously injured, by being put in a camper with other dogs and lack of food and we rushed her to the nearest Vet in Indianola, where they were able to literally save her life. She was in shock and experiencing hypothermia, in addition to her significant injuries and once she was stabilized there, we brought her back where our veterinarians identified that she needed around the clock care so we took her to Iowa Veterinary Referral Center, which is a 24-hour Vet in town, where they’ve had her ever since. They’ve been working with her around the clock with her pain management and then have been keeping an eye on her wounds and it was determined about a week and a half ago that her ear couldn’t be saved and so it was amputated," said Filer.
The ARL is anxiously waiting on an outcome from the disposition hearing in Marion County and is hoping that Warren County is awarded possession and ownership of the dogs, and then it's the ARL's expectation that Warren County would transfer ownership of the dogs to the ARL, so the dogs can go into their adoption program.