Neglected dogs await new homes
LACONIA — The New Hampshire Humane Society is appealing to the public to come to the aid of nine Jack Russell terriers, including 17- year-old Napoleon, that were seized last week from a Plymouth resident who had confined the dogs in small crates in a garage.
Assisted by the Plymouth Police Department and working with the NH Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services, the humane society took custody of the lively dogs — all of which were caked with fecal matter, hair, and urine as well as suffering a multitude of health problems — from their owner on April 24, said Marylee Gorham, the humane society’s spokesperson, on Friday.
Gorham said the goal is to find “hospice homes” for each of the terriers which range in age from four-yearold Buttercup to the elder statesman, Napoleon, whose confinement inhibited the development of his rear leg muscles, making him stand with a pronounced downward stoop in his back.
Having signed the dogs over to the humane society, their former owner will not be charged with any crimes, added Gorham-Waterman, while the good news for the dogs — even for Napoleon, who is extremely frail — is that they finally are getting the care, attention, and affection they deserve.
Living in plastic travel crates, the terriers had just enough room to stand and turn around, said Gorham. While their owner fed them and occasionally cleaned their crates, which were stacked two high and four abreast in the garage, the dogs were terribly neglected, said Gorham, and they arrived at the humane society with eye problems — one terrier is blind — with urine scalding on their feet and, overall, looking little like the rambunctiously intelligent creatures they are.
The dogs’ living conditions were “unacceptable and inhumane,” said Gorham, and were directly responsible for the maladies that afflicted the Jack Russells.
In addition to working to find loving homes for all of the dogs — the humane society is waiving the adoption fee to facilitate their adoption, but will do home checks before placing them — the organization has issued a call for dog groomers to volunteer their services to make the canines presentable again, as well as for monetary donations to cover their medical care.
Contact the humane society at 603-524-3252 or via the Internet at www.nhhumane.org. Donations, earmarked for “Jack Russell Terrier Care,” may be mailed to: NH Humane Society, PO Box 572, Laconia NH 03246.
Although she could say little about the dog’s former owner, Gorham noted that the owner chose to care for the dogs, all purebreds, in the manner in which they were found. “I think the individual had significant issues of their own that probably made them not understand that keeping a dog like this isn’t appropriate or legal,” said Gorham.
A tipster led authorities to the caged dogs, Gorham continued, prompting her to plead for more people to do the same if they know any animal — and/or their owner — is in trouble, because “the humane society can help them.”
“To anyone reading this story, please, if you know your neighbor is in trouble or your family member is in trouble, please make the call because these animals are the innocent victims and, in this case, there were nine innocent Jack Russell terriers that could have been taken under our care much earlier than they were.”
New Hampshire’s live free or die credo should not extend to the mistreatment of animals, she said, and people who see animals neglected or hurt should not shirk the moral responsibility of trying to help them by calling the humane society.
“To anyone reading this article and being incensed, and rightly so, please make that call,” said Gorham, because it can be a lifesaver for an animal.
As for the Jack Russells now filling the humane society, Gorham has high hopes for them finding the love they never knew.
“Buttercup would literally shake and shiver, not knowing whether somebody would hurt her. She’s made great strides in the week she’s been with us,” said Gorham.
Napoleon remains weak but he is improving, she said. “For whatever time he [Napoleon] has left on Earth, he deserves a warm, comfortable home.”