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Polk County Humane Society trying to rescue 20 dogs abandoned in Collins, Mo. after owner died

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 6:44 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 25, 2021 at 6:45 PM CST
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COLLINS, Mo. (KY3) - The Polk County Humane Society has rescued nearly half of an estimated 20 dogs that have been roaming free near a home in Collins, Missouri after their owner died.

The humane society says the dogs were living in very poor conditions. Leaders from the humane society have been at a home just outside Collins, Missouri for the past two days trying to find around 20 dogs that have been left abandoned after their 87 year-old owner recently died.

The family asked that the name of the deceased owner not be used in this story.

Those involved in the rescue say the home could best be described as a shack with trash strewn throughout the inside and outside of the structure.

”He had been living as a hermit for the past 30 years and his family had no idea the conditions he had been living in,” said Tina Pou, the Shelter Manager at the Polk Co. Humane Society in Bolivar. “It was very sad conditions for him and the dogs, so they reached out to us.”

On Wednesday, Pou and others found upwards of 20 dogs that were in horrible condition, covered in mange and starving to death.

“The family told us this gentlemen had lived there for 30 years and not left for 30 years and he did not welcome visitors. The way they reacted to us, they were barking at us and you could tell they were just very fearful, very scared, and it just broke your heart.”

As of Thursday afternoon, eleven of the dogs had been rescued. The efforts have been slowed by the dogs skittish behavior. Those who have been caught are being cared for and nurtured back to health in a garage at the humane society in Bolivar, away from the other dogs because of their mange.

So far all of them are expected to survive, despite a number of medical issues.

”We’ve got eye infections going on. Paw infections. We’re trying to decide right now if it’s just from deep skin infection or potentially some frostbite from last week’s cold weather,” explained Angela Jensen, a Vet Tech with All-Creatures Animal Clinic in Bolivar.

As she walked past each dog’s kennel, she went through the various maladies.

”This boy here has some facial trauma and he’s lost quite a bit of hair on his back.“

”This one is the one that had us concerned the most. She is skin and bones, didn’t even have the strength to get up when we went out there the first night. She’s doing a lot better with just two days of care, warmth and food.”

Jensen said this situation, while shocking, is not unusual.

”They’re dog people,” she said. “They want to take in the dogs and help the dogs. Then they get in over their head financially and they can’t afford to get them spayed and they continue to have puppies. Then their two dogs turn into 10 dogs and it snowballs into something like this.”

”It was a very difficult situation to walk into,” Pou added. “It kind of takes you by surprise and it completely shocks you when you walk into something like that. We’ve seen a lot of horrible situations that our pets come out of, but even when our whole team walked in there, we were just floored to see the way these animals had been living.”

The humane society says it may be awhile before the dogs are healthy enough to be put up for adoption, but they will will post about that on their website (polkcountyhumanesociety.org) once an update is available.

They are hoping other agencies will help them take some of the dogs because of space limitations in Bolivar and are also open to donations to help pay for medical expenses.

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