Local, National, International Volunteers Helping Dogs

By: Leslie Cebula Email
By: Leslie Cebula Email

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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  • by Anonymous on Sep 2, 2008 at 03:17 PM
    exactly tami
  • by yin Location: china town on Aug 27, 2008 at 11:16 AM
    tami, since there just stupid dogs, why don't you just donate them to area chinese restaurants
  • by Taxpayer Location: Parkersburg on Aug 27, 2008 at 11:11 AM
    By the way, TT... I do agree with one comment you made. Ginny Conley DOES need to go.
  • by Taxpayer Location: Parkersburg on Aug 27, 2008 at 11:09 AM
    Another thing that surprises me is the blind support that Sharon Roberts gets. Do you really know this woman? I have known her for more than 40 years. Her kennel was much smaller when I first met her, only about 10 dogs. And I felt sorry for those 10. At one time I considered her my friend, then I had my eyes opened to the "real" Sharon Roberts. As to drawing attention to herself... yes the media is causing most of that. But she agreed to give up those dogs to aviod legal charges. There is where she should have stood her ground if she really felt she was done an injustice. Not after a rally cry from her so-called friends(?). Would you have so willingly given up your possessions if you knew you were right? I think not. I am not judging...merely stating what I know (not baseless comments) and posing some questions that should have answers. Just remember, none of us knows the whole story. I think all the details would surprise a lot of people.
  • by TT on Aug 27, 2008 at 05:49 AM
    In respone to "Taxpayer" comment. Let me just ask you, would you just sit quietly back and allow the slander and destruction of your reputation if you felt you had been fasley accused of something. Some how I think not. What are you talking about "Sharon Roberts drawing more attention to herself" ??? Its made national news for crying out loud. I think its time someone heard HER side of the story, since when has the media been unbiased? She has rights also, you have heard one side of this. Does she not have the right to her side? Good greif what is this world coming to. Tried and convicted by the media with their slant, and a whole town wants to jump right in and start throwing stones. Everybody all ready made up their minds. Based on what ? Do some research with an open mind. Look at the condition of the animals, talk with her vets office. Becareful before you judge.
  • by TT on Aug 27, 2008 at 05:23 AM
    So what is everyone's major complaint, that it was 1000 dogs. Even though, they were all feed well, had their shots, worming, were vet checked, cared for etc. Everybody that jumped on the PETA and humane society ban wagon. How about this, why don't you all just line blindly up and let the government tell you how many children that you can have, how many is to many if they are cared for. Who gets to decide? Most other "puppy mill pictures" you see plasterd all over the news, you can count all the ribs of the dogs, its gross neglect, but not these dogs. Are any of you even botherning to look at the pictures of these babies? It simply amazes me how people are so drawn to lies and deception, are people really so desperate for some drama in their lives. This is nothing more than a way for the humane society to make a name for itself and line its pockets. And Ginny Conley needs to go!!!
  • by Tammy on Aug 27, 2008 at 04:28 AM
    Ummmm is it just me, or is most the people of Parkersburg living in a fog? As anybody even botherd to watch the video of this moron talking, look at the dogs. They don't look to abused to me. None look like malnurished. They all look healthy. But this guy gets him 30 secounds of fame. geezzzz what a disgrace. And people just following blindly along. Wake up, look around, and act like you got the brain God gave you. It could be you next!
  • by Taxpayer Location: Parkersburg on Aug 26, 2008 at 09:04 PM
    I am surprised that Sharon Roberts is drawing more attention to herself. It seems to me that she would be better off to keep a low profile. Doesn't she know that the IRS can open an investigation to see how many puppy sales and subsequent registrations were made to the AKC? Did she declare all of her sales? Being paid in cash would make it very easy to falsify her income. Did she submit her business income to the Social Security Administration so they could offset her monthly check? And did she pay those kennel helpers fair wages and withhold the proper taxes? I guess there will always be those who try to do right and then there are those who are just plain greedy. And all at the expense of the little dogs who never knew the joy of running to the door when their master comes home. Or even just running in the grass to catch a ball. Did she love her animals... or just love the money? It is obvious to me that it was "just a business".
  • by Anonymous Location: parkersburg on Aug 26, 2008 at 03:32 PM
    WOW! TAMI SOUNDS LIKE YOU NEED TO ASK SANTA FOR A SWEATER! HOW COLD
  • by John Location: Virginia on Aug 26, 2008 at 03:29 PM
    "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated" "I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man"~~M. Gandhi I believe helping animals is connected to helping people. We will never be able to help our fellow man completely until we learn to take care of our animals that are dependent on us. An animal's protection against abuse and neglect is the foundation needed to build the attitudes to help each other. To say that they are just dogs shows the ignorance that is out there. If you have no more compassion for a creature that was put in a bad situation by man then how can you be compassionate for your fellow man? Adopt don't buy, anything worth having is worth pursuing. When you buy from pet stores you may be supporting a puppy mill. Most shelters will adopt out the same day you walk in.
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