By Michelle Sherrow
The landlord didn't know how long they had been suffering there. He just knew that when he arrived at the central Utah house from which he had evicted the tenants, he discovered six dogs, 12 cats, and a group of horses who had been left behind. He called the sheriff's department for help, but when the city humane society informed police that they were not allowed to accept animals from outside city limits, officers didn't know what to do.
For four days, the landlord waited for help while making sure the animals at least had food and water. The horses were able to graze and were OK. But the 12 feral cats inside the home had been left with no suitable place to relieve themselves. Two of the dogs were left sitting in crates amid their own waste and were too aggressive for the landlord to let them out or even give them food and water. The other four short-haired dogs were left outside in a barren pen without protection from the weather. On the fourth day, fearing that the dogs would freeze to death as the temperature dipped into single digits, the landlord called PETA.
Caseworkers arranged boarding for the dogs at a veterinarian's office, and the police agreed to transport the dogs and pay the bill. The landlord worked on trapping the feral cats and taking them to a shelter that could accept them. After everything the dogs had been through, they were either too aggressive to be placed for adoption or were very, very sick, so they were given a humane, peaceful release. The horses, however, were healthy and even-tempered and were placed in new homes. The sheriff's department is searching for the runaway owners and hopes to file cruelty charges.
The adage "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," is especially true when trying to protect animals. You will encounter roadblocks—that's guaranteed. But it's also guaranteed that with perseverance, you can save animals from suffering.