DE SOTO, Iowa -- AHeinz 57 Pet Rescue and Transport is currently in the process of saving dogs abandoned in and Iowa forest.
AHeinz 57 Pet Rescue Founder Amy Heinz described her first visit to the forest, “You shine your flashlight in the woods and all of these eyes just start staring at you. It’s creepy really.”
The issue was brought to their attention after two women hiking gave them a call when the local authorities said they couldn’t do anything.
Heinz said she was only able to save seven of the estimated 30 dogs abandoned in the forest.
“It’s kind of a dumping ground. They keep getting new dogs showing up all the time and it’s not uncommon for state parks and state forests to have dogs dumped in them,” Heinz said.
Heinz said she believes this has been going on for years and it’s very hard for dogs to survive in the wild.
“They have to learn to hunt. They have to learn to ward off coyotes and other predators and if you’re a female a female dog in heat out in the woods, not only do you have to defend yourself against male dogs, but the coyotes come and get you too.”
The seven currently at AHeinz are covered in ticks, fleas and wounds from fighting animals and each other.
“All of them are going to need a lot of vet care. All of them have some kind of wounds on them and then they’re going to be here awhile because they have to be rehabbed and taught how to be dogs and taught that humans are okay,” Heinz said.
Heinz said she has another trip planned to try and save more dogs including a female dog in heat.
“I’ve got to catch her and get her out of there. Because she’s just, it’s horrible what’s happening to her. It’ll tear you up if you hear her out there screaming and so we’ve got to catch her and the other two females that are out there,” Heinz said.
Heinz said people dump dogs in random places all the time because some people don’t know that a dog would be better off in a shelter.
“There are shelters. And what the rescues do is they pull dogs from the shelters and that makes room for more dogs to go into the shelters. People think that just because they’re dropping their dog off at a shelter means they’re going to be put down and that is not the case,” Heinz said.
If you see this happening, call local police and if they say they don’t have the resources call any rescue in the state, they will find the right people to help.
AHeinz 57 Pet Rescue is also asking for donations, you can donate here.