ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society Rescue More Than 120 Dogs from Overwhelmed Animal Facility in Arkansas

November 23, 2010

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), at the request of the Pope County Sheriff's Office and in conjunction with Best Friends Animal Society, removed more than 120 dogs living in extremely overcrowded and unsanitary conditions from a volunteer-run animal rescue, approximately four miles south of Hector, Ark.

A search warrant was executed Tuesday morning for the removal of the dogs, based on complaints from concerned individuals. The facility is operated by an elderly woman, who created the animal rescue in partnership with the local humane society for homeless dogs with special needs.

The dogs—which include medium to large breeds such as Labradors and shepherd mixes—were living in overcrowded conditions on a 40-acre property, roughly 80 miles northwest of Little Rock.

"The dogs found on the property appeared to be well socialized, but there were alarming signs of neglect such as mange and other medical issues," said Kyle Held, the ASPCA’s Midwest director of Field Investigations and Response. "It’s clear that the dogs were in dire need of care and treatment and our mission was to remove the animals from the property and get them triaged by a veterinary team."

The Pope County Sheriff’s Office “had received reports of at least a hundred dogs living in unsanitary conditions at this rescue facility,” according to Sheriff Aaron DuVall. “Through the investigation, it was determined that the report was accurate and a search warrant was obtained to remove the dogs.”

More than 15 responders were on the scene, including staff and volunteers from Best Friends Animal Society, which is providing sheltering services, and PetSmart Charities, which provided much-needed supplies such as crates and bowls. A local veterinarian is evaluating and treating the dogs seized from the investigation.

“Situations like this are tragic,” said Gregory Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society. “But that’s why we have our Best Friends emergency response team. Together with the ASPCA, we’re already at work to provide the animals with the immediate sheltering and medical care they need. And we will continue to be part of an effort to find homes for the many animals sadly affected by this tragedy.”

The investigation was set into motion after complaints about the animal rescue were received by the Pope County Sheriff's Office, which contacted the ASPCA and Best Friends Animal Society for assistance.


About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society® is a nonprofit organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More Homeless Pets®. The society's leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from its Kanab, Utah, headquarters, the country's largest no-kill sanctuary. This work is made possible through grassroots network of supporters and community partners across the nation.