NAPLES — A group of cats and dogs has a second chance at life after a local shelter opened its doors to rescue, feed and medicate several dozen animals that were saved from a hoarding situation in Alabama last week.
As the sun set on Friday evening, two vans carrying 14 dogs and 23 cats were met by a small army of volunteers, who shuffled the animals into the Humane Society in Naples and immediately began the process of nursing them back to health.
According to the Humane Society’s website, the dogs and cats came from “Dirty Sally’s Pet Pals” in Houston County, Ala., which was described as “22 acres of makeshift pens, old trailers, endless piles of trash and chained dogs” where over 200 animals were saved.
Karen Sesso, shelter manager for the Humane Society in Naples said the animals’ timetable for adoption depends on what they find out during the medical evaluations.
“This is a terrible situation and we wanted to help,” Sesso said.
Pat Murphy, volunteer and member of the Humane Society’s board of directors, said taking in this many animals in these conditions is a big deal for the volunteers and shelter officials.
“It’s a high for us to be able to completely change their lives,” Murphy said before the rescue caravan arrived. “Whenever you can give an animal a second chance it’s a really good thing.”
Alexander DeStefano, the shelter’s veterinary technician described the scene of the rescue in Alabama as a “rescue organization that became a hoarding situation.”
DeStefano said because all of the animals have good temperaments, he is optimistic about their chances of being adopted.
“Their conditions are treatable, so they should all make pretty good pets,” DeStefano said.
Michael Simonik, Executive Director, Humane Society Naples, said he was disturbed at the hoarding situation and said it’s important for states to regulate animal rescue operations to ensure the health and well being the animals.
“Anyone who has good intentions and a good heart can become a rescue,” Simonik said. “But if they get overwhelmed and fail they can do more harm than good. All the people who are hoarders start out saying ‘I want to rescue animals’.”
For more information on adopting these pets, please contact the Humane Society Naples at (239) 643-2143, or visit their website at www.collierhumanesoc.org.