Miss. woman with 58 dogs calls Utah for help

By The Associated Press

LEXINGTON — A disabled former nurse and dog breeder in Holmes County called a Utah animal shelter for help with 58 dogs in her falling-down house.

Many of the dogs — most of them wire-haired terriers — will be taken Tuesday to a shelter in Denver, because In Defense of Animals’ Project Hope sanctuary near Grenada is full, said Doll Stanley, director of investigations for the group’s Mid-South office.

She said the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, called her office after the woman called for help because she could no longer afford to care for the dogs.

Neither Stanley nor veterinarian Walter Roberts, who helped remove 19 of the dogs and treat those needing urgent care, would identify the woman. They say she is elderly, and was doing all she could.

“She loved the dogs so much and didn’t want to give them to someone who wouldn’t take care of them,” Stanley said. “The whole north side of her house had fallen off, but she was bound to her house because she didn’t know what to do with the dogs.”

The woman soon will move into a habitable home and keep one terrier, Natasha, who will be spayed.

Project Hope and Mississippi Spay & Neuter are teaming to spay and neuter the dogs; MS SPAN spayed 20 Friday at its “Big Fix” rig in Pearl.

Stanley said many of the dogs are going to Every Creature Counts in Denver, which will show them during an upcoming “Adopt-a-thon.”

“Pur sanctuary is filled to capacity,” Stanley said. “We know they will get homes in Colorado. In Mississippi, we have too many dogs and cats. They will never get homes here.”

Stanley said the case has cost In Defense of Animals $8,100.

Roberts said most of the dogs were in good shape.

“I’ve known this lady for quite some time, and I’m happy we are able to relieve her of the burden of trying to take care of them,” he said. “I think the lesson here is sometimes people’s hearts are bigger than their wallet. …

“If you pick up four or five female animals, you can easily end up with the amount she had. Get them spayed and neutered.”

Click video to hear audio