Local, National, International Volunteers Helping Dogs

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About sixty volunteers from local, national and international humane organizations are working around the clock to restore the lives of nearly 1000 pups rescued from a puppy mill.

There are nine-hundred and eighty six dogs behind these walls at a warehouse in Parkersburg.

"You can see behind me we're in the nursery right now. We're getting more and more newborns every day because we brought in a lot of expecting mothers," said Scotlund Haisley, Sr. Dir. of Emergency Services of the Humane Society of the United States.

Over the weekend the humane society rescued dogs of several different breeds but mostly Dachshunds from Whispering Oaks Kennel off U.S. Route 50 in Wood County.

"These dogs have never set foot on grass, they've received very little attention, they've lived in their own excrement," said Maryann Hollis, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Parkersburg (HSOP).

Owner, Sharon Roberts surrendered them when a search warrant was issued for Department of Environmental Protection violations.

Wood County Prosecutor Ginny Conley said this investigation is ongoing but her prosecution has been waived.

"There's no way humanly possible that these animals could have been appropriately taken care of and not in overcrowded conditions," said Hollis.

So dozens of volunteers have been coming in from humane organizations across the country and around the world.

"We're pretty much equivalent to the Red Cross for animals," said Marcel Marcotte of Nova Scotia, Canada and United Animal Nations' Emergency Rescue Service Regional Director.

Officials said this is the largest puppy mill rescue operation in the state of West Virginia and it's likely to be the largest nationwide.

"The community support has been amongst the best I've ever seen," said Haisley.

"The nurses and the staff at Saint Jo's, we knew we had to help," said Cathy Darnold, R.N. at St. Joseph's Hospital in Parkersburg.

They're raising money, Doddy Dalton donated the warehouse, and area businesses have donated thousands of dollars worth of supplies.

Monday the city of Parkersburg pitched in with $1,000 and Mayor Bob Newell plans to meet with City Council to see what else can be done.

"Veterinarians from throughout the community closed their private practice to come in here and volunteer their time," said Haisley.

These dogs have touched the hearts of many who continue to show they want to help.

Hollis said they expect to have all the dogs transferred to other shelters and keep some here at the permanent shelter by the end of the week. Therefore, they plan to close this temporary shelter by the end of the week.

Humane society officials said they still need newspapers, towels, and monetary donations.

To help, call (304) 422-5541 or log on to www.hsop.org.

Since puppy mill dogs are different from others, officials said many need rehabilitation and may never be house broken due to the conditions they've lived in. Hollis suggests researching more on adopting one of these dogs before you do.

You can apply to adopt these dogs by visiting www.hsop.org and or dropping an application off at the shelter. Applications won't be processed until Saturday.

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