Every so often, a news story is almost too heartwarming. A total of 47 dogs rescued in Ontario from horrific hoarding conditions are now being cared for and rehabilitated after their ordeal. The pups were saved from a Thunder Bay-area home on February 7, 2020, after being found covered in urine and poop.
TBNewsWatch.com reports that the small dogs were collected by the Northern Reach Rescue Network. The rescue was alerted to the situation by the family of the person who had been keeping the animals, who had recently passed away.
Robin Ratz, who works with Northern Reach, said she's never seen worse conditions in her life.
"The house was in shambles. The urine smell was so strong that, even with masks, it penetrated our nostrils,” she said on Monday, per TBSNewsWatch. “Probably, their little spirits have been broken.”
Ratz continued: "They were left in very small, confined areas, maybe two by two. Every one of them was matted, saturated in their own feces and urine. It was the saddest thing I've seen."
39 of these poor puppers were sent to southern Ontario for immediate care and the Toronto Humane Society is helping with 16 of those.
THS's PR specialist, Hannah Sotropa, told Narcity they are being rehabilitated there.
"These dogs were living together with over 40 dogs. Our team of medical professionals got to work right away, to shave them down and provide any necessary medical attention," Sotropa told Narcity by phone.
And she explains the full horrible extent of the dogs' conditions when they arrived.
"Several of them have severe dental disease and will require many extractions. There were varying degrees of mating but some of the most severe took upwards of an hour to groom and around two to four staff to groom each one," Sotropa told Narcity.
She added: "All 16 dogs will need to be spayed and neutered, of course. Around four to five of the dogs' eyes will actually need to be totally removed, meaning that the dogs will be completely blind.
"The mats and the coats that they had were severely soaked in urine as well as the dogs' own feces."
If that's not the most gutwrenching account of how some dogs are forced to live, we don't know what is.
According to VICE, all of the dogs in current care are anemic and have parasites. Some also have eye problems, leaving four or five of them to have both eyes surgically removed.
Sotropa added in her chat with Narcity: “A number of the dogs, due to the severe mating, also have decreased muscle mass, so without the added support from the hair they’re now experiencing challenges with walking."
She warned: "Every single one will require ongoing physiotherapy to get them to a place where they can start walking comfortably again."
Sotropa explained that the dogs are evidently nervous due to the changes surrounding them. An ideal future home would be in a quiet place with a good understanding of older dogs.
It'll take a while until these pups are ready for adoption, Sotropa says, which is hardly surprising given the horrors they've endured.
But they are currently on their way to recovery, and we imagine there might be quite the line forming to give them their happy forever after.