COVINGTON, La. (WVUE) - The Northshore Human Society pulled off a massive animal rescue Saturday morning (Aug. 10), after 50 dogs were displaced when a makeshift shelter in rural St. Helena Parish closed down.
The humane society dubbed the rescue Operation Fur-Ever Safe and said the animals were living in extremely poor conditions, according to Scott Bernier, CEO of the humane society.
“There’s a person there who acted as parish animal control, because frankly, they don’t have any animal control in that parish,” Bernier said. “So, people would drop off animals to her all the time. It was kind of a home, built out of kennels.”
Suzie Kanznowitz is the director of operations at the humane society said they were alerted to the situation by one of the volunteers at the rural shelter.
“They are actually being evicted from their property, and actually one of their volunteers called and asked if we could help,” Kanznowitz said.
She said many of the rescued animals are injured or in poor health.
“As of right now, there’s one that’s missing a jaw. I know there was one that had an injured front leg that will probably have to be amputated if we can’t fix it. There are multiple gash wounds, probably from trying to get out of the kennel,” she said. “Also, they have upper respiratory problems, ringworm, fleas, ticks, you name it. And, on top of that, they probably all have heartworm disease."
Still, Kanzowitz hopes the staff will be able to treat every dog and nurse them back to health.
“We’re estimating it costing $30,000, but that is a complete estimate,” she said. “We won’t really know until our veterinarians are able to examine them and really figure out what’s going on, medically.”
But, even with the expenses and staggering numbers, Kanzowitz said their community is full of passionate dog lovers, who always come through.
“It’s overwhelming the amount of support that we get,” she said. “And we only do it because we know we can get the support.”
Bernier said while the situation is heartbreaking, it’s amazing to see the difference people who care can make.
“It breaks your heart when you see the kinds of conditions these animals are living in. With this heat index, that’s 112 degrees, then you come back here, and there’s 50 to 100 volunteers, willing to give them care, love, baths," he said. In a perfect world, we’re going to get all these animals into foster care tonight, and they can sleep in a nice, air conditioned, loving home."
The Northshore Humane Society will also be holding an event to clear the shelter next Saturday (Aug. 17), where all adoption fees will be waived, in order to find homes for some of the new dogs, as well as others that were already in their care.