The Humane Society of the United States is assisting the Vidalia Police Department and Vidalia Animal Control in rescuing more than 20 dogs and puppies from an alleged neglect situation at a residential property in Vidalia, Louisiana. Volunteers with Red Rover will be assisting with the care of the animals. 

Local authorities served a search and seizure warrant at approximately 8 a.m. on Sept. 19. The dogs were found scattered around the yard—many restrained on chains and wandering through tall, thick grass and debris. A group of six juveniles were found in a small fenced-in pen with a single worn tarp overhead. Feces was prevalent around the yard and many of the dogs had no apparent access to clean water, food or adequate shelter. 

A veterinarian identified most dogs as severely underweight and heavily infested with fleas. Open wounds could be seen on many dogs. One puppy, approximately 6-8 weeks, had a puncture wound on his head with dried blood. While some dogs were eager to be petted by responders, others appeared alert and cautious as the team conducted the rescue operation.

“It’s heartbreaking to see how these dogs have been forced to live on chains with little to no shelter,” says Shalimar Oliver, animal crimes case manager for the Humane Society of the United States. “We’re happy to help the Vidalia Police Department and Vidalia Animal Control remove these animals and give them a new chance. These agencies stepped up with zero hesitation to work together to get these dogs out of a bad situation.”

The Humane Society of the United States is transporting the rescued animals to an undisclosed location where they will continue to receive veterinary exams and much-needed care. 

“We’re thankful to work with the Humane Society of the United States to get these animals sheltered and adopted out to a good home,” says Chief Joey Merrill of the Vidalia Police Department. “It was sad and heartbreaking to see these dogs starving, chained up constantly and without veterinary care. We were impressed by the professionalism of the HSUS and the amount of resources available to remove these animals.”

"We are proud to help the Humane Society of the United States care for these dogs and puppies,” says Beth Gammie, RedRover director of field services. “Beyond meeting their basic needs, we provide that extra TLC before the dogs travel onto the next step of their healing journey." 

The assistance of the HSUS was requested by the Vidalia Police Department and the 7th Judicial District of Louisiana in Concordia Parish after members of the community raised concerns about the welfare of animals on the property. Several attempts were made by animal control officers with the VPD to educate the owner to gain their compliance, including donations of pet supplies from the community, however these were all unsuccessful in ensuring adequate care for the dogs. 

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