The ASPCA removed the animals from the tragic scene and transported them to a temporary shelter, where they have spent the last few weeks receiving medical care, behavioral enrichment and the kindness they so desperately needed. Now, with some heartwarmingly happy reunions under our belt, we are ready to begin searching for loving forever homes for hundreds of the animals rescued in this case. Animals like Lucy, Emma, Ashley, Fiji and Della.
Lucy is a very friendly pit bull mix who was found with her litter of five puppies, all of whom were gravely ill due to the shelter’s neglectful conditions. Sadly, the puppies did not survive—veterinary experts confirmed their cause of death as parvovirus, a highly contagious disease which could have been prevented by vaccinations. Lucy survived, and this sweet mama is now looking for a loving family to call her own.
Emma is a sassy senior who was discovered with skin infections and an ingrown collar. She was in so much pain that she would yelp as veterinary experts treated her wounds. Emma has recovered from her medical issues, and she is now a cheerful dog who loves people and is sure to make some lucky adopter very happy.
Ashley is a sweet 12-week-old Pointer mix who nearly died of distemper, a virus that affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems. After receiving much-needed treatment and vaccines at the ASPCA’s medical unit, Ashley’s overall health improved and she recently joined the other dogs at our temporary shelter. She is shy at first, but is looking for an individual or family to give her a good home.
Fiji is a grey, domestic short hair cat who veterinary experts thought was blind due to her severe eye infection. With medical treatment and care, Fiji’s vision improved greatly, and the curious kitten has come out of her shell. With a bright future ahead, Fiji is eager to find a family who will love her forever.
Della is a senior dog who is blind, but that doesn’t hold her back! She is a very sweet pup who is fond of being petted and handled. The ASPCA is planning to take Della to a specialist to see if she is able to regain some of her vision, but what she wants most is a home to call her own.
When the ASPCA rescues animals from puppy mills, hoarding situations, dog fighting rings, natural disasters and other emergencies, we rely on animal shelters and rescue groups nationwide to assist with the placement of rescued dogs and cats for adoption. These ASPCA Response Partners provide former victims of cruelty with the opportunity to experience lives as beloved pets, and without their help, our capacity to assist animals across the country would be diminished.
Over the past year, five of our Response Partners went above and beyond in answering our call to help cruelty victims in need. In recognition of their efforts, we would like to acknowledge the following organizations for their outstanding work in recent sheltering and rescue operations:
Montgomery Humane Society of Montgomery, Alabama
Cedar Bend Humane Society of Waterloo, Iowa
Margaret B. Mitchell Spay/Neuter Clinic of Bristol, Virginia
Quincy Humane Society of Quincy, Illinois
Angels of Assisi of Roanoke, Virginia
Thank you to these five organizations—and to all of our amazing Response Partners nationwide! We are grateful to these organizations for making hundreds of animal adoptions possible.
We have good news to report in the aftermath of our recent rescue operation in Alabama, where we removed more than 300 dogs and cats from filthy, deplorable conditions at the Lawrence County Animal Shelter. Several victims from this raid have been reunited with their families after the ASPCA began urging those with missing pets to visit our temporary shelter.
Jared A. and his family were overjoyed to be reunited with their pit bull, Rusty, who went missing over a year ago. When Rusty disappeared, Jared put up “missing” posters around the neighborhood and posted pleas on social media to no avail. After the ASPCA shared news of the rescue operation on Facebook, Jared spotted a photo of Rusty. He contacted us, and we were able to quickly reunite Jared with his beloved pet. He then took Rusty home and posted a heartwarming video of his son JC, being reunited with Rusty for the first time.
We’re so glad to see Rusty and other animals rescued in this operation back in happy, loving homes.
UPDATE (7/8): While we initially reported more than 250 lives saved in this rescue operation, in the days following the raid that number has climbed to 300 victims. The animals are now receiving medical and emotional care in an off-site ASPCA facility. Your support is still urgently needed.
Update (7/1): View photos from our rescue efforts in Alabama on Tuesday, June 30 and Wednesday, July 1.
This post was originally published on June 30, 2015.
The ASPCA is on the ground assisting the Moulton Police Department in the removal of more than 250 animals from Lawrence County Animal Shelter in Alabama. At the scene, our responders discovered the animals—including dogs and cats of all breeds and ages—living in filthy, deplorable conditions.
Many of the animals were emaciated and appeared to be suffering from medical issues such as parvo, distemper and untreated wounds. Some of the animals were being housed in small wire crates and others in crowded enclosures where animals fought for resources and space.
The ASPCA’s Medical Animal Surgical Hospital—a custom-built, mobile animal hospital—will allow veterinarians to provide critical care to animals on-site. From there, we will transport the animals to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location to provide them with additional medical treatment and behavior enrichment.
The Lawrence County Commission has terminated its contract with Lawrence County Animal Shelter following a complaint from a shelter volunteer citing animal abuse and mistreatment at the facility. ASPCA experts are collecting and analyzing forensic evidence and providing legal support to help strengthen the criminal case and ensure the best outcomes for the animals.
“This is a truly tragic situation,” says Tim Rickey, vice president for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “It was immediately clear upon entering the facility that these animals have been severely neglected. Our goal is to provide them with much-needed medical attention and socialization. Eventually, we hope to place them with responsible shelters that have the means to care for them and find them adoptive families.”
We’re grateful that these 250 animals will no longer suffer in secrecy. Unfortunately, our work is far from finished—we need your support so we can continue to provide care for these animals, and for countless others who are waiting to be rescued. Please consider making a donation to the ASPCA today.
Janet, Chrissy and Jack were rescued by the NYPD in early May. The three Shih Tzus were malnourished and their coats were so matted that their vision was impaired. They were rushed to the ASPCA Animal Hospital where our expert staff provided medical care, grooming and a gradual feeding schedule to help the dogs gain weight safely. While this trio is making good progress, it is still too early to discuss their availability for adoption.
“We often care for victims of extreme matting—the impacts of which go far beyond the cosmetic,” says Howard Lawrence, Senior Director of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Group. “Severe matting can lead to skin infections, decreased mobility and even cut off circulation to the point of limb amputation. We’re thankful that in the course of a narcotics arrest the NYPD investigators were able to recognize animals in need and bring them to the ASPCA for care.”
We are optimistic that Janet, Chrissy and Jack will continue to improve under our care.
“This case exemplifies why the partnership is so important for this city’s most vulnerable animals, and we thank the Special Narcotics Prosecutor's Office for seeking justice in this case,” says Lawrence.