Our AHS management and staff from Popcorn Park joined other animal rescue organizations Thursday evening in a rescue of more than 30 retriever mix dogs from a residence in Lakewood, NJ. Our staff arrived on the scene and were given hazmat suits to put on before entering the home.
It was clear why the suits were needed as soon as they pulled up to the home, since the stench of the home could be smelled from down the street. The conditions that these poor dogs were living in were beyond deplorable. Feces covered the floors, walls, and even the ceiling, and the dogs themselves were covered in feces and urine, and were also terribly matted. Our staff took in five of the dogs and brought them to the safety of Popcorn Park. They were given warm, clean beds and good meals, then the work began.
After their initial vet check by our head veterinarian, Dr. Laney Baris, who could barely determine whether the dogs were male or female because of the hideous matting and feces covering them, they went straight to our grooming van. Two of our groomers, one from Popcorn Park, and one from our Tinton Falls facility, began working on the first dog, a female, at about 10am this morning. It took nearly 3 1/2 hours to free this sweet and shy girl from the horrific coat that she was imprisoned in. The feces that she was covered in had formed dreadlocks that went down to the skin, and she needed to be shaved and soaked for several hours to get down to her skin. The mass of feces and mats that was covering her tail weighed more than three pounds, and when it was finally removed, her tail swung upright and began wagging like never before. After a nice, long bath, this gentle lady felt like a whole new dog and was just ecstatic to be clean finally. We named her Nanni, and determined that she is about 6 years old. Nanni was 12 pounds lighter after her grooming.
We also groomed Nanni's friend, which may be her daughter, and call her Jolene. Jolene, left and below, did not have the dreadlocks that Nanni had and her coat didn't look too bad from afar, but once we began bathing her, we realized that the she was encrusted in feces, all the way down to the skin as well. We were able to save the top of her coat with lots of soaking, brushing, and de-matting, but her legs needed to be shaved nearly down to the skin to remove the hardened feces around them. Grooming Jolene took nearly 3 hours as well, and she was an absolute angel through it all, as was Nanni.
We will groom the remaining three dogs on Saturday which include an older male golden retriever, a young retriver mix, and an older retriever mix that is completely blind. We will update again on their conditions as we continue our work on them. The visually impaired male will need to see an opthamologist and a neurologist in the near future, and all of the dogs will need full medical workups, in addition to their extensive grooming. We are again relying heavily on our Res-Q Fund to help defray the costs of caring for these beautiful, deserving dogs. If you would like to contribute toward their medical care, please make a much-needed donation.
For video footage of the rescue of these dogs, check out this report from CBS New York.
We will update again on all five rescued dogs shortly.
Dewey Gets All Cleaned Up!
Connie looking Like A Brand New Dog!
Red Gets Ready to Start A New Life
Update: May 15 - Progress report on all five dogs.