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Monday, Nov 13, 2006County: Fall River
Disposition: Not Charged
Person of Interest: woman
Authorities took about 200 dogs on Nov 21 from a home near Provo where a woman had been taking the animals in for more than 30 years.
Debra Anderson, the executive administrative assistant for the Humane Society of the Black Hills in Rapid City, said authorities and humane society workers transported the dogs from Provo to the humane society in Rapid City.
"The owner of the house is being extremely cooperative and surrendered the dogs," Anderson said.
Tuesday's pickup of the dogs was previously arranged.
Fall River County Sheriff Jeff Tarrell first contacted the woman about the situation Nov. 13 after the humane society received a complaint.
Tarrell said he informed the woman that she needed to surrender the dogs, and she had agreed upon a timeline in which she would.
"She had actually agreed last week with me. It was a matter of finding somewhere to take all of those dogs," he said.
She had hoped to find homes for them, but when Tarrell was about to visit her again Monday, the humane society told him she had decided to give them the dogs.
Tarrell said the woman was cooperative with him and the humane society.
Tarrell said the woman had taken in stray dogs for years and had become known for her hospitality for the animals, which eventually led to people's misuse.
"It got to the point where people would actually drop the dogs off near the place or abandon them (near there)," he said. "People were essentially taking advantage. They knew she would take in stray dogs. (It had) been going on for well over 30 years."
The woman eventually became unable to care for the animals anymore.
"(She) physically got to the point where she couldn't care for all those dogs anymore," he said. "She just got too many. She loved the dogs; she just couldn't care for them anymore."
He said there were more than 100 dogs at the house and that most of them lived outside. Humane Society officials estimated about 200 were transported.
Tarrell said the dogs he observed at the house appear to be OK physically. However, some of them didn't seem to have enough room.
"Pen size was an issue," he said.
Anderson said the health condition of the dogs had yet to be determined but that the number of dogs would definitely place a strain on humane society supplies.
Tarrell said the humane society had been intent on finding homes for the dogs all along.
"At the outset of this, the humane society told us they were in contact with other humane societies to do everything they could to make sure the dogs had a home," he said. "They've assured me, they're going to try to find homes for every one."
Anderson said there are concerns about space, and humane society workers are scrambling to find temporary homes for the dogs.
Anyone interested in volunteering to offer a temporary foster home for a dog is asked to call 394-4170.
The woman is keeping a few of the dogs for pets, which Tarrell said he would be "monitoring."
- Rapid City Journal - Nov 21, 2006
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