Half the dogs rescued from deplorable conditions in Caledonia last week are in clean and spacious new surroundings at the former Central Bark doggie day care facility at Regency Mall.
Wisconsin Humane Society spokesperson Angela Speed gave a press briefing Wednesday afternoon at the building to update the public on the dogs’ condition and when they might be available for adoption.
81 dogs, 10 cats and two pigs were taken from Orphaned Kanines and two residences last week after Caledonia police received a complaint from the Caledonia Fire Department after a routine fire inspection. Debra Gray, owner of the kennel and at least one of the homes, is facing 85 counts of animal cruelty because of the conditions where animals were kept.
Humane Society officials said there’s no way to tell how long some of the dogs lived in the deplorable conditions, but some may have been for as long as two years.
Speed said all the dogs are suffering from some type of medical issue, but two in particular are in a wait-and-see situation.
“We do have two dogs in serious medical distress,” she said. “One of the dogs is 14 and we have a puppy with severe brain swelling.”
The other 40 dogs are being housed at the Humane Society’s three campuses because their medical needs can be better addressed at those locations.
Speed held up a photograph of a Shih Tzu dog who will soon be reunited with his owner. Hershey went missing several weeks ago, but when his owner saw his photo on the Humane Society’s website, she contacted them immediately.
“This person had all the right documentation to prove Hershey belongs to her so we are very happy that they will be back together,” she added.
An 8-week-old puppy who was taken from a home on Main Street will also be reunited with their family after the owners provided paperwork to prove the dog is theirs. Speed said the owners paid Gray to house train the dog, but it was found with a number of other dogs and a pig living in filth as well.
Offers of assistance continue to pour in, and Speed said the Humane Society is beyond grateful because an anonymous donor who has said they will match every dollar donated for the dogs’ care.
The change of scenery and improved living arrangements are making a difference, Speed said.
“The dogs are less stressed and coming out of their shells,” she added. “We are grateful to the Caledonia Police Department and the Caledonia Fire Department for bringing us on board. These dogs have a bright future. We can’t believe how far they’ve come in just a week.”
Speed said interested forever families should keep checking the Humane Society’s website for updates on when the dogs will be available for adoption.