I grew up in Adams County it is a small county located in the heart of the wheat belt in Washington state. Ritzville is a small farming community located inside of the county where I lived till I moved to Florida. ACPR (otherwise known as Adams County Pet Rescue) serves Othello,Lind, Washtucna and my home town Ritzville they are a no kill organization that spays and neuters, and rehabs animals so they can find forever homes.
The people who are apart of this organization not only donate their time and money but they open their homes up to help cats, dogs and horses. I grew up around these wonderful hard working people who at a moments notice get calls about animals and are out looking for them or organizing people who can. It is a 24 hrs a day 7 days a week operation.
Below is a article from 2008 This article was my first real experience with mistreatment of animals ( beside seeing it on TV) my father was one of the many volunteers who went to help these poor starving dogs.
March 13, 2008
Starving dogs rescued
Journal photos by Stephen McFadden
SCARED AND ABANDONED. This quartet of hounds huddles near a bag of dog food, the first real meal they've had in a long time. A total of nine abandoned dogs were discovered last week near the Tokio Elevator. One of the dogs was dead. Six were rescued by Pet Rescue volunteers and two are still running loose. (below) Mark Shepherd carries a severely malnourished dog to a waiting kennel in Steve and Karen Potts' vehicle.
By Stephen McFadden
The tears were flowing when Janet Bowman realized just how horrible the scene before her was last Thursday as she counted the number of starving dogs that were swarming around her near the Tokio Elevator along Danekas Road.
Bowman is a dedicated volunteer member of the Ritzville Pet Rescue program and she was the first to arrive after the group learned that there were several dogs abandoned near the elevator.
"I didn't catch the gentleman's name, but a guy called my office and asked to talk to me. He said he was at the elevators and he said there were four skinny dogs there," Bowman recalled.
An employee in the Adams County Auditor's Office, Bowman quickly obtained permission to leave the office and drive out to the site where the dogs were last seen. On the way she stopped long enough to gather a large bag of dog food and a bucket filled with water.
What she discovered as she neared the elevator is now being considered one of the worst cases of animal cruelty the Pet Rescue members have ever seen.
Originally Bowman was expecting to find four dogs. At last count, the Pet Rescue members had identified nine abandoned dogs near the elevator. Most of them are coon hounds. One of the dogs was found dead on the railroad tracks behind the elevator. By Monday, the volunteers were still attempting to capture two of the dogs.
The others have been distributed to Pet Rescue foster homes throughout Adams County. Four of the dogs were severely emaciated, two of those in very serious shape. All of the dogs were malnourished and dehydrated.
Bowman, who wasn't prepared for what she found, quickly summoned the assistance of other Pet Rescue members. Steve and Karen Potts and Mark Shepherd all responded to lend her a hand.
"I've seen lots of skinny dogs. I've seen lots of abused dogs. I've not seen dogs that are so emaciated that their skin was sticking in between their ribs. It just made me sick," Bowman said.
Shepherd was the first to arrive. He helped cut a sheet into strips so they could use the strips as makeshift leashes for the dogs as they were able to capture them.
Steve Potts, once he arrived, loaded the dogs into kennels in the back of his vehicle and then took them to local veterinarian Tim Johnstone.
Four of the dogs quickly came up to Bowman and began drinking water and eating. The other dogs were more tentative and the Pet Rescue members had to work hard to capture the others that they had been able to gather up.
All four of the dogs that gathered around Bowman seemed desperate for attention. Their bodies were thin, and their skin was squeezing their rib cages.
"I was feeling pretty overwhelmed," Bowman recalls. "We already have so many dogs in foster care. We don't have a ton of room, but you can't leave them there."
Shepherd, while trying to capture the more tentative dogs, was frustrated by the scene. He noted that he had watched programs on Animal Planet that depicted such conditions. This was the first time the Washington State Patrol trooper had witnessed such cruelty in his home county.
How the dogs ended up at the elevator is a mystery. Pet Rescue members have their theories.
"These dogs have not been out on their own," Bowman said. "I suspect they were a backyard breeder's dogs. I think someone dumped them right here. I live out in the country and I know that people dump dogs. They didn't travel anywhere. They stayed right here.
"I wholeheartedly believe that someone was starving them in their backyard or kennel," Bowman added. "It's very frustrating. There are too many rescue groups and too many shelters for someone to have to do this."
Bowman said the discovery was disturbing for her as an animal lover.
"I was beyond angry. This is senseless," she said. "There's no need to do this to an animal."
All of the dogs have been distributed to those who can care for them. The ones in the worst shape are residing with Pat Stark in Washtucna. Stark cares for the animals in the worst shape. She seems to have a knack for bringing them back.
The two dogs she's caring for have new names. Stark named them after two wheat varieties because it appears that they have been eating wheat to survive.
She named the white one Madsen and the black one is Eltan.
"Eltan is in the worst shape. He is the most emaciated. The first night I was up with them a lot," Stark said.
Once a dog has become malnourished, bringing them back is a slow process. Over feeding or watering them can do more damage. Stark said she carefully monitors their food intake and feeds them in small increments.
Stark has been feeding them cooked white rice.
The dogs' general physical condition will take time to improve.
"They are so scratched and nicked and they have scars everywhere," Stark said. "I would bet anything that these dogs came from a disreputable backyard breeder that had jammed them all together in a very small space. The dings that they have are from other dogs' claws."
Like Bowman, Stark wasn't happy to discover this level of animal cruelty.
"It needs to be known. This is a horrible, horrible thing when anyone can treat a helpless animal this way," she said. "I feel like just blasting them. But, saying mean things just doesn't help. Everyone needs to be upset about this. I'm really proud of how everyone pitched in and helped get the job done."
Other Pet Rescue members have stepped up to take in some of the dogs that were found at the Tokio Elevator including Clyde Hiland of Ritzville and Donna Yarchak of Othello.
Adams County Sheriff Doug Barger confirmed that the agency is investigating the incident. He also said Washington state laws prohibit animal cruelty and the owner of the dogs could be subject to criminal charges.
"Assuming they (dogs) were in bad shape, then yeah, we could pursue criminal charges if we had a suspect," he said.
They have done so much more than just this one little article. They busted a puppy mill expecting to find 60 dogs they found over 120 and after many years of court battles and appeals they finally sent the defendant to jail a huge victory for them !!! I wish I could list everything they have done but then we would never get to the reason im writing this blog post. I live in Florida now and am 3000 miles away from home and today I stumbled upon some information about a organization called Animal House and ACPR being the shelter they chose out of a 100 applications to use as their Pilot episode for TV .... EXCITING!!!! So now after hearing this I decided I definitely need to find out what was going on back home.
In 2009 ACPR shelter had a fire which destroyed the building they were using to house rescues. ( pictures below)
ACPR submitted a application to Animal House ........Who is Animal House????
|tears of joy and relief|
|sharing the great news|
|the director of shelter taking a moment after hearing the news|
I am very excited about this! Animals hold a special place in my heart and any chance I get to give back and help I will and do I am hoping today after seeing this post you will do a couple things...