Madison Animal Rescue: About 40 Dogs Need Adoption, Owners Not Charged Yet
PLEASE NOTE: If you would like to adopt one of these dogs or make a donation to help with their care, please contact the Madison Animal Rescue Foundation, or MARF. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (256) 658-8607. If you have already emailed MARF, please be patient – they have received a tremendous response and are working to get back with you as quickly as possible. MARF also holds its weekly pet adoption event on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Petco at the new Madison Target shopping center. Adoptions can also be made through Whitworth Animal Clinic at 106 Rainbow Drive in Madison. The phone number is (256) 830-1503.
Madison Police are investigating a case of cruelty to animals after finding 85 dogs living in filthy conditions on Thursday morning. Many of the dogs were dead.
Around 7:20 a.m. police got an anonymous complaint about a foul odor at 815 Crestview Drive, which is off of Madison Pike.
Police went to the home and found 45 dogs inside the home, living in filth. Along with those, 40 more dogs were dead. Several agencies assisted, including the Madison Animal Rescue Foundation (MARF) and Huntsville Animal Services.
Miki Bennett, Director of MARF, said of the 45 dogs that were taken from the home, some had to be euthanized. The dogs are dachshund and dachshund-bichon mixes.
An elderly couple lives in the home. They have not been charged yet, and are staying in a hotel for the time being. Police say family members are coming from out of town to help the couple find a place to live until their house is cleaned up, or until charges are filed.
Huntsville Animal Services sent two crews to assist in the rescue.
“Animal hoarding is becoming an epidemic in the United States,” said Director Karen Hill Sheppard.
Sheppard says cases like this usually begin with the best of intentions.
“Often these people, when we do take the animals, we put them under mental health court to help them recover and move on and not have this problem again,” said Sheppard.
Several agencies helped in the operation, including Madison City Animal Control, Huntsville Animal Services, the Madison Animal Rescue Foundation and The ARK. Some local veterinarians are also helping, including Whitworth Animal Clinic and Madison Veterinary Hospital.
Sheppard says the tell-tale signs of hoarding are unmistakeable, and people must act if they suspect abuse.
“It’s the smell of a lot of animals, feces and urine. And upon investigation, that’s how we find there’s a problem,” said Sheppard.
“When there’s a smell, a lack of care, and animals, you need to encourage your local animal control departments to do more investigation,” Sheppard added. “That’s how we’ve either found them ourselves or other people have alerted us to the problem, and because we know the signs, a lot of times, we know.”