DES MOINES, Iowa – The Animal Rescue League of Iowa is caring for another 65 dogs and puppies after participating in a rescue operation in southeast Iowa.
The ARL’s Animal Care Manager Megan Davies tells WHO 13 they were alerted Tuesday about the situation by Keokuk County authorities. They had received a tip from law enforcement in Florida about some dogs that had gone missing from Citrus County, Florida during an investigation into animal neglect.
The dogs were located on a property near Hedrick in Keokuk County.
A veterinarian evaluated the animals, who were living in overcrowded makeshift outdoor pens, and determined they needed to be evacuated immediately. Many were suffering from ear and eye infections, diarrhea, and upper respiratory infections as well as being underweight.
One of the dogs, a Husky, was missing part of a back leg and the bone was exposed. Several of the dogs with curly fur were experiencing extreme matting.
Local authorities reached out to the ARL to help because it is equipped to deal with large-scale rescues like this. The ARL says this is the third such rescue it has been involved with in just the last two months.
“We quickly came together, got vehicles together, got carriers together and then quickly got these dogs out of that situation and back here at our ARL Main location as well as our city location,” said Davies.
The investigation into the case and breeder continues. No information about possible charges has been released by officials.
A new report from the non-profit organization, Bailing Out Benji says that Iowa leads the nation in Federal violations for puppy mills.
When asked why there seems to be such a problem with this in Iowa, Davies said there are a lot of factors but a major one is a demand for puppies. “Because the demand is there, people will take advantage of that, unfortunately,” said Davies.
She advises people searching for a pet to always do their research about where these puppies and dogs are coming from and said, “Any good breeder is going to welcome you into their facility.”
If you would like to help the ARL with the care of the animals you can donate here.