It’s described as the first-ever facility dedicated strictly to providing behavioral rehabilitation to canine victims of cruelty.
The center opened this week as a partnership between the ASPCA and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, N.J., according to a press release.
In addition to working to rehabilitate the dogs who end up there, the center’s findings will be the basis of a research study that will be shared with shelters and rescue groups across the country.
“For some animals, the reality is that after a lifetime of neglect and abuse, the rescue is just the beginning of their journey to recovery,” said Dr. Pamela Reid, vice president of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team.
“The ASPCA recognized the need for a rehabilitation center that will provide rescued dogs customized behavior treatment and more time to recover, increasing the likelihood that they will be adopted.”
Dogs eligible for treatment at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center will be those rescued from animal cruelty investigations conducted by the ASPCA as well as by other shelters and rescue groups.
The ASPCA says dogs admitted to the center will undergo an intensive rehabilitation regimen, including customized behavior modification treatments to reduce fear and anxiety.
Treatment plans will incorporate the use of “scientifically sound techniques designed to reduce the dogs’ fear of people and other dogs, acquainting them to unfamiliar objects, sounds, living areas, and real-life situations that can induce trauma and severe stress among this population.”
The primary goal is to improve their well-being and help them become suitable for adoption.
Work conducted at the center will be featured in a research study evaluating successful methods and treatment protocols for rehabilitating undersocialized, fearful dogs. The findings will be shared with animal welfare organizations and scientific communities nationwide.
“Many shelters around the country are doing great work in terms of rehabilitation and behavior modification, but often times they are stretched thin and may not have the resources to work with animals who need more time,” said Kristen Collins, director of ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Behavior Rehabilitation.
“Our goal is to not only rehabilitate the dogs we admit into the program, but to also collect data for our research study so we can share these findings with other animal shelters and rescue groups. We want others to be equipped to better treat those undersocialized dogs in their care so they can save more animals.”
(Photo: ACPCA photo of Musketeer, a five-year-old pit bull mix, with Pia Silvani, vice president of Training and Behavior for St. Hubert’s, at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, N.J.)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 13th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, aspca, behavior, behavior modification, behavioral, cruelty, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, evaluation, fear, hoarders, hoarding, madison, new jersey, pets, puppy mills, recovery, rehab, rehabilitation, rescues, research, shelters, st huberts animal welfare center, trauma
Two Pennsylvania brothers who had 187 dogs, mostly Chihuahuas, seized from their property in July have pleaded guilty to two counts each of cruelty.
Thomas Ambrosia said he and his brother, Albert, pleaded guilty to “get this behind us,” and insisted they treated the dogs “like our boys and girls.”
Acting on tips, state dog wardens and state troopers executed a search warrant at a house in Benton, in Columbia County, last month and found the corpses of 30 Chihuahuas in a freezer. They seized 187 other dogs living there.
Authorities said the deceased dogs apparently died of natural causes. Veterinarians who checked the surviving Chihuahuas and two other dogs removed from the residence found only minor health issues, like eye, tooth and skin problems.
Pennsylvania law requires anyone who keeps, transfers or boards more than 25 dogs to obtain a kennel license and be inspected annually. Thomas Ambrosia, 57, said he and his 54-year-old brother had applied a kennel permit, but had been denied. They now have 10 dogs.
The brothers were fined more than $500 as part of their guilty pleas. One cruelty count involved neglect of a male coonhound with a sore on its leg, and the other involved a long-haired Chihuahua whose hair was badly matted.
At least one dozen shelters in Pennsylvania stepped in to help place the dogs.
(Photo: Some of the seized Chihuahuas; Pennyslvania Department of Agriculture)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ambrosia, animal cruelty, animals, Benton, brothers, chihuahuas, columbia county, guilty, hoarded, hoarders, hoarding, pennsylvania, pets, pleas
State dog wardens and police removed 206 Chihuahuas – many of them sick – from a home in Columbia County in northeastern Pennsylvania last week.
Dog wardens and state police executed a search warrant Thursday at the home of Albert and Thomas Ambrosia, in Benton, after receiving tips that dogs were being hoarded.
Officials removed several dead dogs from the home, and many more that were suffering from skin, eye and dental issues, said a spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture. State police are determining whether to file animal cruelty charges, she said.
The dogs were taken to the Farm Show complex in Harrisburg to get medical treatment and were being divided up among shelters on Friday and over the weekend.
According to the Reading Eagle, two Berks County animal shelters were among those that took in some of the dogs. The Animal Rescue League of Berks County announced Friday that it would take in 30 of the dogs, and the Humane Society of Berks County received six.
“This is one of the worst cases of animal hoarding we’ve seen in Pennsylvania, but through the efficient work of dog wardens, state and county animal response teams and local animal shelters, the dogs are one step closer to finding healthy forever homes,” said Mike Pechart, a deputy secretary who oversees state Dog Law enforcement at the Agriculture Department.
The two men who kept the dogs at their home treated them as pets and identified them by name to law enforcement officials who took them away.
The Animal Rescue League reported that 10 of the 30 Chihuahuas it received are older dogs that require more extensive care and will be placed with the group’s foster home program for older animals.
Officials from both the Humane Society and the Animal Rescue League said it is unclear when the dogs will be available for adoption.
“This is a terrible event, but we’re grateful that the Office of Dog Law Enforcement took the initiative to rescue these dogs,” said Dylan Heckart, Berks County Humane Society director of development and pubic relations. “We plan to offer the Chihuahuas the best veterinary care available and place them for adoption as soon as they’re ready.”
(Photo: Dylan Heckart, director of development and public relations at the Humane Society of Berks County, with Chihuahuas rescued from a Columbia County home; by Bill Uhrich / Reading Eagle)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: Albert Ambrosia, animal rescue league, animals, Benton, berks county, chihuahuas, columbia county, dead, department of agriculture, dogs, hoarded, hoarders, hoarding, humane society, pennsylvania, pets, seized, sick, Thomas Ambrosia
Buddy, one of more than 200 dogs that lived at the home of a hoarder in California — depicted in the video above — died last week at age 15, but not before getting to spend more than a year in a loving home.
Ida Schillaci Noack took part as a volunteer in a March 2011 rescue effort at the hoarder’s home, in southern California, and ended up, with the homeowner’s permission, bringing Buddy home with her. Three months later the Humane Society of the United States removed most of the other animals from the home. Noack took part in that effort, too.
Buddy spent almost a year and a half with Noack. Last week, the day before she had the old and ailing dog put down, Noack wrote about Buddy on her Facebook page. With her permission, we reprint it here in its entirety:
He is the greatest canine love of my life.
I’ve had other rescues. There was Elvis, followed by Miss Piggy, then Rex (who required special care due to renal disease).
After Rex’s passing, I found Sampson, an affable tank.
In between all of them have been fosters; at one time our house had 5 dogs and 4 cats. All were special.
But there was something about Buddy.
Buddy came from a hoarder’s property. This hoarder, an older woman, lived in a dilapidated house. She appeared to at least have electricity and plumbing. The refrigerator in the kitchen — only the freezer portion was working — contained just a few items: some medication and two pounds of raw hamburger, but no stove to cook it with.
In the middle of the living room there was a another refrigerator — inoperable — along with two crated dogs who had no food or water. The flooring had been destroyed down to the cement, and the walls were coated with a brown scum extending at least two feet up from the floor. At one time the property had over 250 dogs: some kenneled, some crated, many running wild, several pregnant … and most were sick.
It was obvious many of the dogs were from the same litters, spanning generations. They didn’t appear socialized; they might accept food or treats, but then ran and hid. There were dirt dens, and some kennels were only five feet long and two feet wide. The neglect of these animals had apparently been going on for years, but even worse was that the property was located in the desert of California where it was hot enough to melt the glue from our shoes.
The level of noise itself almost required ear plugs. Even in the open outdoors, the smell of feces and urine was overwhelming. In the weeks prior to my arrival several other volunteers had come down with giardia.
In all this chaos, Buddy stood out. He was a shaggy mess in a sea of shepherd and lab mixes. He moved slowly in his kennel. No barking, no jumping, nor did he run and hide. I went in as part of a grassroots rescue, for several weekends we cleaned, fed, watered and did basic medical for the dogs. We were slowly transporting them out as the rescue community could take them in. Those that were extremely sick were taken out right away.
Buddy’s hair was probably 6 inches long – so long I couldn’t see through to his eyes. He kept his head down and once he caught my scent he walked sluggishly over to me.
I squatted down, my body pointing away so that I posed no threat – and I slowly reached out to him. His tail wagged – barely – and he nudged closer. Finally I moved the hair away from his eyes. They were closed. Did he even have eyes? I couldn’t tell. I stayed a few minutes with him, then moved on. There were 200 more dogs that needed food and water.
A few hours later I found my way back to him. He came over to me in the same way and I petted and rubbed him gently.
My friend Kim came over – I told her I wasn’t sure if this old guy even had eyes. She looked at me worried, cocked her head and said, “I’ll give you a thousand dollars to take that dog.”
She repeated herself. Crap. It wasn’t the money, I was already in love with him. There was something about him that made my heart swell, skip a beat, go pitter-patter. Pick one or choose all. I called my husband, another great gift in my life. His response? “Whatever you want, my sweet.” I’m lucky.
So Buddy was loaded in a crate and into my life. The groomers bathed and shaved him. The vet pulled most of this rotted teeth out, and his blood levels were great.
He wasn’t suffering from malnutrition, giardia, mange or any tick-borne illnesses – all of which plagued many of the dogs that had already been pulled. Still, he was mostly blind, partially deaf, very thin, and not even house-broken. But he is perfect in so many other ways.
He has never barked or growled; he will just “purr” when you pet him. He’ll get the zoomies about twice a week till he falls over. He rubs up against me like a cat and then falls into my lap.
I have to carry him in and out of the house and keep him crated at night to avoid late night accidents. He loves his breakfast, dinner, and evening Kong filled with peanut butter.
Buddy is a lot of work, but to me this 15-year-old ragamuffin is worth every bit of extra care, and is worth far more than a thousand dollars. He is priceless and he makes my heart sing. Tomorrow, Buddy will cross the Rainbow Bridge, this has not an easy decision. But we can no longer help him, he will not get better. So tomorrow we will let him go, with dignity, grace and our love.
(Photos: From the Facebook page of Ida Schillaci Noack; top photo by Stella’s Hope)
Editor’s note: Volunteers are the foundation of most animal shelters and rescue organizations. In this feature, we invite shelter and rescue volunteers to share their thoughts. If you’ve had an experience with a particular dog, or a particular program, if you’ve found new inspirations, learned some lessons or just want to write about the day-to-day work you do with animals, send your story along, with photos if you like, including one of yourself, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of our “Adventures in Volunteering” posts can be found archived here.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 150 dogs, 200 dogs, adventures in volunteering, animal, animal welfare, best freinds animal sanctuary, buddy, california, dead, dies, dog, dogs, downtown dog rescue, experiences, hoarder, hoarding, hsus, humane society of the united states, Ida Schillaci Noack, los angeles, loss, mojave desert animal rescue, pets, red rover, rescue, rescuer, rescues, shelters, southern, stories, surrendered, tales, volunteer, volunteers
Days after an animal control officer in Columbia County, Pennsylvania resigned her position, authorities seized dozens of dogs and cats from her home.
Jinece Loughry suddenly resigned her position in Berwick last week.
Her small house on Thirteenth Street was filled with 40 dogs and 24 cats, WNEP reported.
“I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. It makes me very sad because you realize she had a good heart and was an animal lover who has gotten herself way out of line,” said Linda Bird with the Animal Resource Center.
The center near Millville is now home to twice as many dogs after taking in the 33 that were seized from the home.
Bird said the dogs were dirty and matted, and some could barely walk because the animal waste was so thick.
Loughry was allowed to keep a few animals that she or family members personally owned, WNEP reported, and so far, no charges have been filed.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, animal resource center, animals, berwick, cats, columbia, county, dogs, found, hoarding, home, Jinece Loughry, officer, pennsylvania, pets, rescue, resigned, shelter
Hutch was one of 20 dogs living in a single room of a mobile home in Louisiana. They rarely got out and ate only dumplings, as that was all their owner could afford.
Authorities were tipped off about the conditions the dogs were living in, at which point several rescue organizations were contacted, including NOLA Lab Rescue, in New Orleans, established a couple of years ago by Kim Breaux.
Hutch resembled a Lab, though it was hard to tell what breed or breeds he was given all the mange, sores, hairless spots and infections.
Breaux was able to find a volunteer to foster Hutch from among her supporters, and after treatment for his mange and other problems, he made the trip to a new temporary home in Tennessee.
Melissa S., the foster mom, recounts the full story at Animal Hoarding News & Info.
On Nov. 7, 2010, Hutch arrived at his foster home, one he would share with four other dogs.
“He was a little timid at first, but he soon fell into place with the other, eating and sleeping with them. He soon learned how to fetch the Frisbee like all the others. He really didn’t come with much “baggage” … he was house broken in no time at all … he was very eager to listen and learn. You could tell that he craved love and attention and began to blossom.”
“A face that nobody could turn away from” is how she describes him.
“After he was in our home for just a few short weeks, my husband decided he could not bear to part with Hutch, so we officially adopted him. He is such a special boy, he makes us laugh every day.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 20 dogs, adopted, after, animals, before, dogs, foster, fostered, hoard, hoarded, hoarders, hoarding, hutch, infections, kim breaux, labrador, louisiana, mange, mobile home, new orleans, nola lab rescue, one room, pets, sores
One of the owners of 100 dogs removed from what authorities described as deplorable conditions in two homes is an American Kennel Club dog show judge, KOMO News in Seattle has reported.
Based on video footage anonymously sent to an animal rescue group, King County deputies seized 100 dogs from homes in Burien and Issaquaha last month.
KOMO aired the video Wednesday, and revealed that the owner and caretaker of at least dozens of the dogs — Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and Japanese Chin — is a dog show judge.
She has not been charged, but the sheriff’s office says an investigation is underway, and the case may be forwarded to prosecutors in the next few weeks.
The video footage showed dogs being hoarded in rusted and feces-infested cages, matted with pet hair, with empty food and water bowls.
Fourteen of the dogs were in such bad condition they had to be euthanized; the rest are being cared for by local rescue groups and veterinarians.
KOMO said the dog show judge, who they did not identify by name, also shows dogs, and that one of her dogs won an award in February at the Westminster Kennel Club Show.
The woman declined to talk to reporters, saying her attorney advised her against commenting.
Lisa Peterson, with the American Kennel Club says the organization is aware that one of its judges is currently under investigation in King County for animal cruelty and has suspended the judge’s privileges “until it is determined whether or not she has violated the AKC judicial or administrative determination of inappropriate treatment policy.”
Pasado’s Safe Haven is asking prosecutors to file 14 counts of animal cruelty against the woman for the 14 dogs that had to be euthanized due to illness.
“We’re certainly going to be asking that they are never able to own dogs again,” Amber Chenoweth said.
In a report on Pasaodo’s Safe Haven’s website, the owners of the dogs are identified as Margi and James Hamilton, who have been breeding and showing dogs for decades.
“When we discovered who owned these dogs, we were shocked and disgusted that one of the people responsible for this was none other than a judge for the American Kennel Club… Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek December 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 14, akc, american kennel club, basement, breeder, burien, burien cares, chihuahuas, conditions, dog, dog show, dogs, euthanized, hoarded, hoarding, investigation, issaquaha, james hamilton, japanese chin, judge, king county, komo, margi hamilton, pasado's safe haven, pomeranians, rescue, seattle, seized, sheriff, show
Show up with 15 and, as any fool could predict, there’s going to be trouble.
Police in Tewksbury, Mass., say one dog is dead and three more are fighting for their lives as a result of neglect and inhumane treatment at the hands of a 71-year-old Maine woman named Margaret Nickerson-Malpher.
Nickerson-Malpher was arrested at the Motel 6 in Tewksbury Tuesday, where, in addition to four dogs in her room, she had about a dozen more outside in her parked van.
She was scheduled to be arraigned in Lowell District Court today on 17 counts of animal cruelty, Patch.com reported.
Nickerson-Malpher told police she had left her summer residence in Maine Monday night and was driving back home to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, when she stopped at Motel 6 to get some sleep.
She checked into the motel around 7 a.m., apparently bringing some of the 15 dogs with her into her room. The rest remained in her van. Police say motel guests saw her carrying the body of a deceased dog from her van to her room that afternoon.
A motel employee went to her room, and after seeing the deceased dog and other dogs that appeared to be ill, called police.
Police say the officer who responded found inside her room one dead dog and three more in critical condition, due to suspected malnourishment and dehydration.
The surviving animals — 14 dogs and two cats –were taken initially to the Tewksbury Pound, then transferred to the Massachussetts SPCA facility in Methuen.
Police in Tewksbury said Nickerson-Malpher appeared to have been living in Maine for at least four years, despite the South Dakota plates on her van, and that state police investigating her for animal abuse there were preparing to seize her animals on Wednesday.
According to the Bangor Daily News, Nickerson-Malpher had been charged with animal cruelty in 2006, when 20 dogs and one cat were removed from her home. She was convicted in connection with that and, under the terms of her probation, restricted from owning more than two dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, arrest, bangor, cats, death, dehydration, dogs, hoarders, hoarding, lodging, maine, margaret nickerson-malpher, massachussetts, motel, motel 6, mspca, neglect, pets, police, spca, tewksbury, travel, traveling with dogs
Check out Cinderella: Not too long ago she was one of numerous dogs living lives of neglect with an animal hoarder in Tennessee. Tonight, she’s going to be the belle of a ball in New York City.
Specifically, it’s the ASPCA’s Annual Bergh Ball, the theme of which is “Fairy Tails,” which takes place at the Plaza Hotel. The ball draws a crowd of animal lovers, including community leaders and celebrities, who come to dine and dance in support of the ASPCA’s mission: “To provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”
Rescue by the ASPCA from a hoarding situation, Cinderella, now about 4 years old, went on to be lodged in a New York City shelter before being adopted by a New York City resident. She now lives in a penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park, which she visits every day.
Yesterday, Cinderella received the royal treatment at the Ricardo Rojas Salon in preparation for tonight’s big event.
(Photos: Courtesy of the ASCPA)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, aspca, ball, bergh ball, cinderella, dog, dogs, fairy tales, hoarder, hoarding, new york city, pets, rescue, shelter, story, tennessee
The owners of the home described themselves as dog breeders, but admitted their operation ”got out of hand,” The Capital in Annapolis reported.
Animal Control officers visited the home in the Green Gables neighborhood after receiving an anonymous tip.
Because homeowners Chuck Richard and his wife, Pam, didn’t have a dog fancier license, laws required they have no more than four dogs. The county plans to give the couple a citation and a $50 fine, police said.
Officers seized dozens of poodles, Yorkshire terriers and other dogs from the two-story home in the 1800 block of Choptank Road. The animals are being housed at the animals at the county shelter in Millersville.
Other than being dirty, the dogs seemed in good shape, and all but one appeared to be well-fed, animal control officials said.
The Richards were visited in 2006 by animal control officials who counted 24 dogs, but didn’t give the couple a citation.
Richard told The Capital that when the recession hit, it became harder to sell dogs.
“It just got harder and harder to find homes,” he said. “You hear about people hoarding, but it wasn’t like that. This just got out of hand.”
“I’m sad to see them go,” he added, “but in a strange way, it’s a relief.”
County Executive John R. Leopold is urging residents to visit the county shelter and adopt the animals. The animal shelter is open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animal control, animals, annapolis, anne arundel county, breeders, choptank road, chuck richard, county executive, dogs, hoarding, john leopold, pam richard, pasadena, pets, poodles, seized, seizure, shelter, surplus, yorkshire terriers