An animal rescue society says 201 dogs seized from a Milk River, Alta., acreage this winter are recovering well after months of neglect.
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Officials say the dogs were suffering from malnutrition, dehydration and other injuries.
Deanna Thompson, the executive director of the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS), spoke with the Calgary Eyeopener's David Gray Tuesday morning about her organization's role in the operation. Click the audio button to hear the full interview.
Thompson said 47 of the rescued dogs ended up in the care of AARCS, and all of them are now in foster homes. The rest of the rescued dogs were divided between other animal advocacy organizations in Alberta and B.C.
Thompson said all of the dogs are recovering well and are "putting some meat on their bones and getting that medical attention they need."
Among the more serious cases was a dog named Rupert who was missing part of his leg. He had amputation surgery on Monday. Another one — a puppy with a broken jaw — is scheduled for a CT scan.
"Lots of them are dealing with really bad parasite infestations, so we're working on getting them de-wormed and making their tummies feel better," said Thompson.
Many Albertans have come forward to support AARCS in caring for the dogs. Thompson said the phone at AARCS has been ringing "off the hook" with offers of donations of cash and pet supplies.
She said the citizens of Chestermere raised $1,600 with a bottle drive over the weekend.
When asked how hard it will be to socialize the dogs, Thompson said the foster homes are reporting that the dogs are showing a dramatic difference already. Some are timid, but most, especially the puppies, are very social and not showing any aggression.
Many people have come forward wanting to provide permanent homes to the rescued dogs.
But first, Thompson said, AARCS wants to make sure they're healthy and that they are spayed and neutered before being placed in permanent homes.
For now, all the rescued dogs in the care of AARCS are eating a special and quite expensive food for their stomach problems.
Thompson asks concerned people to consider donating money to AARCS to cover the mounting medical bills for the dogs, which she says will add up to many thousands of dollars.