Case Snapshot
Case ID: 12360
Classification: Hoarding, Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Wednesday, Oct 3, 2007

County: Harney

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Dorothy Schatz

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

About 200 dogs living in conditions authorities described as "deplorable" in Oregon will get a second chance at finding loving homes in the Treasure Valley.

The first truckload of the rescued animals, also including cats and birds, arrived at the Idaho Humane Society in Boise on Wednesday afternoon after being removed from an Oregon residence. Investigators said the dozens of mistreated animals had been hoarded at the home of Dorothy Schatz, of Burns, Ore.

"She had a large number of smaller breed dogs living in pretty deplorable conditions. The lady has since turned the dogs over to us," Humane Society spokeswoman Dee Fugit said. In the next few days the dogs will be checked by veterinarians, spayed or neutered, and then evaluated for their suitability for adoption.

Schatz was arrested on 20 counts of animal abuse. She was arraigned at the Harney County Courthouse and released from jail.

Idaho Humane Society staff and volunteers scrambled Wednesday to handle the sudden influx of rescued dogs from an Oregon residence.

But society spokeswoman Dee Fugit pointed out that the Idaho organization has faced similar challenges at least five or six times in her 18-year career with the Humane Society.

"Last year we had a huge number of cats from Twin Falls we had to take care of," she said. "In 2003 we were called in to help with a large puppy mill, we got over 100 dogs from there in Oregon. We've had over 400 once before. So we've done this several times."

Nevertheless, it's a daunting task, and the organization has asked the community for help.

About 60 full- and part-time employees were called in to help, as well as several volunteers, to deal with Wednesday's crisis.

"We are right now preparing our building for the intake of these animals and that's not easy when you are talking about 150 or 200 animals," Fugit said. "Because of the fact that this is very draining on our staff and facility, if people are thinking of turning in their dogs, right now we would prefer if they could wait, unless it is a stray."

The shelter is in need of assistance to help cover the cost of caring for so many new additions.

"We are always in need of donations, such as Zamzows food, blankets, bleach. We don't need a ton of dog crates, leases or collars," Fugit said.

"Truthfully, we need money more than anything because it takes money to take care of all these animals and all the medical work that needs to be done to all these animals."

The animals are being vaccinated and receiving other medical care. After a period of quarantine, healthy dogs will be available for adoption in valley homes. For adoption information, contact the Idaho Humane Society at 342-3508. You can view available pets from the society's Web site at www.idahohumanesociety.org.

How to help:
Zamzows stores are accepting donations for the Idaho Humane Society to aid the Boise shelter in helping the recovered dogs. Individuals can also donate online at www.idahohumanesociety.org or contact the shelter directly by calling 342-3508.


Case Updates

The Idaho Humane Society had to create a lottery to give people 20 minute windows to pick out one of 110 dogs confiscated from an Eastern Oregon puppy mill. Another 90 were not yet ready for adoption. Two basset hounds were not adopted. Twenty-four dogs and 20 cats already at the shelter were also adopted. Some 400 people showed up at the Humane Society.

Not everyone who showed up Wednesday went home with a companion. Because of the sheer volume of people, the Humane Society had a lottery of sorts, having people draw letters then allowing them 20 minutes to walk though the kennel to select a dog.
Source: Oregon Live - Oct 11, 2007
Update posted on Oct 11, 2007 - 4:24PM 
The woman arrested for allegedly hoarding nearly 200 dogs tells her side of the story to NewsChannel 7.

Sixty-year-old Dorothy Schatz was arrested and charged with 20 counts of animal neglect. She says she loved all her animals and claims she did nothing wrong.

"I have a heart and I care, so I guess that's what I'm guilty of," said Schatz.

Schatz is a self-described caretaker and animal lover. She's also the woman behind what the Humane Society calls a full-blown puppy mill just outside of Burns, Oregon.

Last week authorities gathered nearly 200 dogs, three cats, and two birds from Schatz's property. Officials say all the animals were malnourished and in poor health.

But Schatz tells a different story.

"Did you cause suffering to these animals?" asked NewsChannel 7.

"No absolutely not," replied Schatz.

"Did you hurt any of these animals?" asked NewsChannel 7.

"No, why would I hurt? I don't like hurt, I don't like needless deaths, I don't like needless suffering," said Schatz.

Dorothy says in the past she has often been the victim of suffering.

She said living alone can be lonely and she's relied on animals for companionship and comfort.

"I've had a lot of dogs dumped on me because people know I like dogs and I don't like to see them put down," said Schatz.

But before she knew it, she was in over her head.

"Are you an animal hoarder?" asked NewsChannel 7.

"No, I'm not an animal hoarder, it just got totally out of hand," said Schatz.

Now she comes home to an empty house.

"The silence is deafening and you know my heart breaks because this whole thing has just been blown out of proportion," said Schatz.

"Are you a criminal?" asked NewsChannel 7.

"I don't think so. What do you think?" replied Schatz.

Schatz said it would make her happy to see all the animals find good homes.

Those dogs will be available for adoption starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Idaho Humane Society in Boise.
Source: KTVB - Oct 10, 2007
Update posted on Oct 14, 2007 - 7:35PM 
198 dogs, two birds and three cats, all seized from a home in Burns.

After numerous calls from Boise, Idaho pet stores, Harney County sheriff's deputies had reason to believe a woman was mass-producing dogs and selling them, full of diseases.

Dogs were living in their own feces and urine.

Police say they weren't properly fed or watered, and unfortunately three were found dead in the driveway.

Not only was 60-year-old Dorothy Schatz's home filled with dogs, but a deserted trailer nearby was filled with dogs - and no food in sight.

"It was sad. It was disgusting," said Harney County Sheriff Dave Glerup. "The smell was overwhelming, inside and outside of the home.... It was a sad situation out there."

Schatz faces 20 counts of animal neglect, as the investigation continues. She was held at the Harney County Jail for two days and released on conditions she will not possess or care for any animals.

Police say dog breeding and operating a puppy mill are very different things.

"It all depends on how you take care of your dogs, and this woman was not taking care of her dogs," said Glerup.

The condition of the dogs will determine whether Schatz will face felony charges from her 20 counts of animal neglect.

All 198 dogs were taken to the Idaho Humane Society, where all will be spayed and neutered as well as vet checked. Some eventually could be taken to the Humane Society of Central Oregon, but that depends on the needs from Boise and available space, said Lynne Ouchida, the Bend shelter's community outreach coordinator.

The Boise shelter called in employees and volunteers to deal with the flood of puppies.

Dr. Jeff Rosenthal, executive director of the Idaho Humane Society, said, "Animal abusers may choose to live in Eastern Oregon because rural law enforcement has fewer resources to devote to these types of crimes committed against animals."

"However, this commendable effort by the Harney County Sheriff's Department shows that assumption to be a fallacy," Rosenthal said.
Source: KTVZ - Oct 5, 2007
Update posted on Oct 7, 2007 - 1:00AM 

References

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