Dogs Being Held at Washington County Fairgrounds

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UPDATE 4/12/2012 6:48 PM

"Deplorable. Deplorable. It's hard to believe anyone could live like that. A dog or a human," says President of the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley Janie Snell.

More than 45 dogs were housed here overnight at the Washington County fairgrounds after being rescued from their owners' care.

"Yes they were feeding them. Yes they were getting water, but they weren't of good, wholesome quality or quantity. The dogs are in decent health. Most of them do have worms, whips or hookworms which could cause a lot of health problems. He just had too many. It wasn't that they didn't care for them, it's that they couldn't take care of them," says Deputy Sheriff Dog Warden Kelly Schubert.

Deputies with the Washington County Sheriff's Office rescued the final four dogs from the home of Richard and Carol Lancaster.

They surrendered a total of 55 dogs after a officers conducted a search warrant of the property.

"Dogs that are living in these conditions have the pack mentality. Basically wild dogs is what it is. They're not socialized. They have no people skills. They're not leash trained. And what they'll do is they'll kind of do a crocodile roll if you put a leash on them they could choke themselves. They're scared to death of people," says Schubert.

Some dogs have already been taken into foster families who are given instructions on how to care for these animals.

Schubert says this is an important step toward preparing them for adoption.

"I think every animal needs its own family. Every dog needs its own family. Every dog needs its own little boy or girl. You can already see these dogs respond to the kindness of people. And once they learn that they can trust a human being I think you'll have more love than you can handle," says Snell.

The Humane Society of the Ohio Valley is asking for your help. They need blankets, bleach, dog shampoo, and monetary donations in order to care for so many dogs. They also hope volunteers over the age of 18 will stop by the cattle barn at the Washington County Fairgrounds to play with the dogs and help them get accustomed to people.

Nearly thirty people help to remove dogs from a Washington County home. The number of dogs is still unsure, but deputies say it could be up to 60.

Investigators say it wasn't that they didn't care about their dogs, it was that they couldn't take care of them.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office found around 20 of those dogs inside the home of Richard and Carol Lancaster.

"The floors are covered in feces and urine, most of the furniture is covered as well," explains Washington County Dog Warden, Deputy Kelly Schubert.

And outside investigators found up to 25 dogs.

"There's six dog houses for twenty five dogs, two of them are tied up the rest are running free," explains Deputy Schubert. "There is a fence around the property but the fence is not adequate, there's some spots where it just does not exist."

Upon arrival Deputy Schubert says the Lancasters signed over all but three dogs to the county.

The Humane Society of the Ohio Valley will take in those dogs. A separate building at the Washington County Fair Grounds has already been set up for the dogs.

"We have cages set up, we worked last night and got forty some cages prepared," explains Schubert. "We have probably five or six vets waiting on them when they arrive, we gave them each cards to say how old they are and if they're male or female. And the assess if they have any diseases, do a full health assessment."

After evaluated, all the healthy dogs will be available for adoption immediately.

The Humane Society will pay to have all dogs spayed and neutered, including the three the Lancasters kept.

The Lancasters do not face any charges at this time but they did sign an agreement to never have more than three dogs.

The Humane Society of the Ohio Valley will also endure all costs for food, shelter, and sanitation. Donations can be given to the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks says his office is in desperate need of blankets for the dogs. Anyone looking to donate a blanket can drop them off at the office located at 309 4th Street in Marietta.

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