************ just returned from the Hartford Animal Control where she evaluated many of the 12 dogs who were confiscated after being found living in tiny crates in a shed. These poor dogs, lived their entire lives in small vari-kennels. As you could imagine, the conditions were unspeakable.
Many of these dogs are extremely friendly and will be euthanized on June 19th. The first date of their adoption is June 17th.
I’m sorry to burden you with such a sad case, but I hoped you would cross post this email with the below video that features some of these beautiful animals, who have known so much suffering in their lives.
Hopefully together, we can bring awareness to their plight and save some of them.
http://www.onetruemedia.com/shared?p=8e ... m=text_url
If you’re interested in adopting one of these dogs, please contact Officer Sherry DeGenova, 860-305-6764, firstname.lastname@example.org.
14 pitbulls seized from
Updated: Monday, 15 Jun 2009, 10:31 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 15 Jun 2009, 10:07 PM EDT
Hartford (WTNH) - In Hartford more than a dozen dogs have been seized from a shed behind homes. There are questions as to why the dogs are there and concern for the future of the animals.
14 pitbulls were caged and living inside a single shed.
A neighbor who doesn't want to be identified said her mother lives nearby and feared for her safety.
"If she walked in her backyard, she was worried," the neighbor said. "The dogsg were barking and she was afraid they would get loose."
Police say they were called to 145 Grandby Street after people began complaining about pitbulls being kept in the shed. When they opened the door, they found 14 dogs all in cages lined up and stacked in crates.
"There is no room in a shed for 14 animals," Raymone Brown, of Hartford, said. "It's unsanatary, they can get sick, carry diseases, that's just not right."
New Channel 8 talked to one of the occupants of the house and they said that they were holding the dog for someone else. Hartford Police did come in and seize the dogs, which are now down at the local pound.
"Somebody delivered them in the back of a truck," Betty McGee, of Hartford, said. "It was in a white van with New York license plates."
Neighbors believe with the dogs being crated in the bank of vans in the middle of the night, and then being brought back to the shed, they were being used as part of a dog fighting ring.
"That's a big thing right now, we all know the Michael Vick story," Brown said. "That's a big thing right now. Even though it's wrong, there is a lot of money in dog fighting along with any other animals."
Hello Our Companions Volunteers and Friends,
As you might have heard, many of the dogs who were seized after being found stacked in a shed in Hartford were returned to their owners, despite the fact that caring citizens were ready to adopt the dogs and provide them with safe, loving homes. ( http://blogs.courant.com/helen_ubinas/2 ... -tail.html)
I’m sure many of you must be confused by how these dogs could be returned to their owners after being found in such abhorrent conditions. Let me explain and urge you to join in positive action to make legislative changes so this will not continue to happen.
The current cruelty statute that addresses animals being kept in a situation where they suffer abuse and neglect is, in the opinion of many, exceptionally weak. The definition of the statute is: if the animal is not in immediate danger of dying due to neglect or abuse, it cannot be removed from the situation. The absence of shelter, food, and water do not automatically qualify removal of the animal, unfortunately. It is a combination of many factors that allow the investigating body to determine if the animal can be permanently removed.
This means that dogs can live chained and confined 24 hours a day - as long as they are not actively abused or physically in distress.
Such was the case in Hartford. When Animal Control discovered the 14 dogs stacked in crates in a shed, none of the dogs were in physical distress at that time. They were all in individual crates, the bedding was clean, none of the dogs showed signs of dehydration, starvation or abuse. Now, we all understand the purpose of these dogs, and what they are involved in; however, there was no physical evidence present at the time that could corroborate suspected illegal activity.
Last session Our Companions in cooperation with CT Votes for Animals and the ASPCA lobbied to pass a bill that would address this loophole in the cruelty statute that allows animals to be chained/confined their entire lives. The bill did not pass. If it had, the outcome of this case would be very different.
Next session Our Companions, CT Votes for Animals, Animal Control Officers and the ASPCA will continue to work to get this much-needed bill passed into law. But we cannot do it without grassroots power. If this case does not outrage you enough to take action, I don’t know what will.
Many of us feel angry and helpless but there is something we can do:
1) If you haven’t already, become a member of CT Votes for Animals and join the grassroots effort to lobby for the Tethering Bill
2) Make a donation to the CT Votes for Animals to provide the critical financial resources that will be necessary to lobby aggressively for this bill
3) Contact your local Representative and Senator and tell them that you support stronger cruelty laws, including a stronger tethering bill.
4) Read the attached fact sheet about the proposed Tethering Bill concept
5) Download and print the attached Break the Chain Advocacy flyers and post them wherever you can
6) Talk with other compassionate people and encourage them to also take action
7) Forward this email to others who are, like many of us, outraged by this case
These animals who were returned have no voice. We do. The current laws need to change. Although tragic, the lack of response from the public ultimately decides if anything good comes from this miserable situation.
Susan B. Linker
Chief Executive Officer
Our Companions Domestic Animal Sanctuary
P.O. Box 673
Bloomfield, CT 06002
(860) 242-9999, ext. 301
You have to give Micah Wallen this: the man can weave an intricate story.
When I heard that the 14 pit bulls seized from a Hartford back yard June 9 were being returned to their owner, I thought -- no way.
According to Cityline's scoop, these caged pups were rescued by Hartford police from a Granby Street shed. Backyard breeder? Who knows, but who keeps dogs stacked like that?
And why, I wondered as I headed to the city's animal shelter, return them to an owner who at the very least was irresponsible. Especially when so many people have been stepping up to adopt the dogs.
In fact, two young women who had driven from Maine were sitting outside the shelter Wednesday, waiting to adopt two. Lyda Libby (pictured with a pup below) convinced a friend to make the five hour drive with her. She already has two dogs -- one a lovable pit bull, she said. But she's wanted to start a rescue group for pits for a while now. So when she read about the Hartford dogs, she had to come.
Not for Wallen, pictured above with Hartford Sgt. Heriberto Resto. According to 33-year-old father and Courant newspaper delivery man, the dogs are his.
Well, six are, anyway. Two were long-term pets he raised as bottle-fed babies, he claimed, and four were their offspring.
Six others, he said, he was holding for a friend who is currently incarcerated, And the remaining two, another (not incarcerated) friend was keeping with him.
"I love my dogs,'' Wallen insisted.
That's why, he said, he tried to claim them as soon as he heard they were impounded. Only problem was when Wallen and his friend headed to the shelter to claim their dogs, he came up short.
After showing documentation to prove two of the dogs were his, his friend got his pits and a fine for not having the dogs registered and vaccinated.
Wallen had proper paperwork for only one of his dogs -- Donna, his older female pit. The only proof he had for the others were some pictures of the dogs on his cell phone, and friends who he said would vouch for him.
Not good enough, police said.
In the meantime, adoption proceedings had started. Three of the dogs had already been adopted, including one that Wallen claimed was his. (If you're keeping track, that leaves eight dogs now unaccounted for.)
Since Wallen wasn't charged with anything, he was free to adopt the remaining dogs -- but he'd have to stand in line behind other prospective adopters, including that young woman from Maine.
She walked out of the shelter with two dogs, including one Wallen said was his beloved male pit.
(Stick with me, we're almost there.)
It's not fair, Wallen said; he's a good owner. Despite cops finding the dogs in a friend's backyard, Wallen claimed until recently his six lived with him -- at least until his sister had a baby and wanted the dogs moved.
He feeds them, he insisted, walks them, chains them outside for fresh air. He admits he should have gotten them registered and made sure they were up to date on their shots. But, he said, he lives paycheck to paycheck -- a vet visit is a luxury.
"I do more for my dogs than most people do for theirs,'' he said.
I don't know about that. But after talking to Wallen, I was torn. He seemed legitimately upset -- though he curiously paused twice when I asked him the name of his beloved male dog.
Scott, he finally said.
It's tempting to say if you can't afford a dog, you shouldn't have one -- but the truth is he's not alone. There are lots of people who get dogs without any real understanding of what it takes to be a good, responsible owner.
And this bears repeating: While cops couldn't charge him with anything, Wallen was, at the very least, irresponsible.
Police said the dog's basic needs were met.
"It's fair to say the average pet owner does not treat their animals in the manner that these were kept," said Sgt. Heriberto Resto.
And that's what needs to be addressed here. As far as I can tell -- and I'll get back to this in a later blog -- our animal cruelty laws are weak, at best. And there's no ordinance against the number of pets a person can have in Hartford.
Something's got to change on both counts. We need an animal cruelty law with some -- pardon the pun -- bite. And a cap on the number of dogs people can own -- nothing good comes from having this many dogs in the city.
Wallen left empty-handed again Wednesday night. He's coming back Thursday morning with money to adopt his remaining three dogs. (That brings our tally down to three that still need homes.)
Wallen said he a friend near Massachusetts with 32 acres of property. He'll keep the dogs there, he said, and visit them often.
Is that anything like sending your dog to live in the "country?"
Many of you have been following the news stories about the 14 dogs that were discovered living in a small shed, crammed in tiny crates. After the dogs were seized by animal control, and to the communities disgust, several of the dogs were returned to their owners.
Two of the dogs were again seized from Bloomfield Animal Control Officer just the other day and they are desperately in need of adoption. One of the owners who they were returned to, had previous charges and the courts granted Animal Control’s request that he no longer own animals. As such, they had the legal authority to seize the dogs once again. Thanks to Officer Sparks, two of these dogs were rescued after being discovered living in tiny crates, yet again.
People lined up to adopt many of these dogs while they were at the Hartford pound. We need to find the people who initially lined up to rescue these dogs and ask them to please let Officer Sparks know you were referred by Our Companions to adopt them. There are two tan males who desperately need homes.
You can contact Officer Sparks by emailing email@example.com or calling 860-242-5501 ext. 450. Time is critical.
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