BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The local PAW animal shelter is 37 dogs heavier after helping rescue 77 Shih Tzus from a home in Burlington today.
Sandy Brown, director of the Fort Madison PAW shelter said she was notified before Christmas that a lady in Burlington had a number of pure bread Shih Tzu dogs that needed to be re-homed. At that time the number was 30.
“Well, the gentleman that’s been caring for them called us last week and said there were 60. When we got to the home there were 77.”
Brown said the local PAW facility wouldn’t be able to handle all 77, so she contacted AHeinze57 out of DeSoto, Iowa to assist in the rescue, which took place on Friday and Monday.
“They specialize in special needs animals, so they took the very young and the old and we took the ones in the middle.” Brown said.
“We just gave them a Yorkie that needed to have two knees replaced and they’ve just been wonderful.”
Brown said it was her understanding that the woman was a breeder who’s husband had died last year and then she had taken ill and things got out of hand. She said that even though it was a “hording” case, the animals were in relatively good care.
“This has to have been going on for a couple of years,” Brown said. “We were contacted by the family and we didn’t ask too many questions. We just wanted to get in and help.”
“Most of these dogs are not in that bad of shape. I’ve seen worse. So the gentleman that was taking care of them did a very nice job considering he had 77.”
Brown said she believed that Burlington city code allows for four animals per resident and residents with a breeding license can keep up to 20 in well-maintained facilities.
This is the second case of animal hording PAW has helped with in the past several months. In November PAW got 28 dogs from another home in Burlington where there were 45 dogs. Brown said the last three of the dogs are going home tomorrow.
She said several area groomers have offered to groom the animals but that will take some time and to get all the dogs healthy and ready for adoption it’s going to cost the shelter about $300 per dog.
Anyone wanting to adopt the any of the dogs should go to www.pawfortmadison.com and fill out an application. Brown also said donations will be important now and those can be made online or at the PAW Facebook page through Paypal.
“Any donation is greatly appreciated. Some people can’t afford to sponsor the full amount of the animal, but anything is helpful and appreciated, Brown said.
“Most are these are black and a couple are brown and they have a ton of personality.”