Last Thursday night, dog wardens and troopers searched a property in northeastern Pennsylvania. They allegedly discovered 185 Chihuahuas and the corpses of 30 more in a freezer.
Mike Pechart, who oversees dog law enforcement activities at the state Department of Agriculture, called it “one of the worst cases of animal hoarding we’ve seen in Pennsylvania.”
By the end of the day Friday, all of the dogs had been placed in animal shelters around the state.
Among them was Antietam Humane Society, which took six females. The animals were spayed Tuesday and readied to go to their new homes later this week.
“So far, we’ve processed 15 applications for the six dogs,” said Andrea Haugh, executive director of the shelter.
The first six applicants to be approved will be eligible for the Chihuahuas, and the others who are approved will be on a waiting list, Haugh said.
“I was shocked by the overwhelming public response,” she said. “Everyone wanted to help.”
One person interested in the Chihuahuas ended up filling out an application for another dog, Haugh said.
The shelter typically has 40 dogs and 60 cats available for adoption, according to Haugh.
She said Dog Law Enforcement Officer Georgia Martin put Antietam Humane Society in touch with the state.
“We had space and felt we could take and place six in a reasonable amount of time,” Haugh said.
Neighboring Adams County, Pa., took 14 Chihuahuas that all were adopted, she said.
Haugh said the dogs placed in Waynesboro seemed to be in good health, other than some dental issues. She described four as outgoing, one as shy and one as having an “attitude.”
State law requires anyone who keeps, transfers or boards more than 25 dogs to obtain a kennel license and be inspected annually. Dogs also are required to have dog licenses and rabies vaccinations.
“The biggest thing in adopting any pet is it is a long-term commitment,” Haugh said.
The Antietam Humane Society on Lyons Road is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. An application involves reference checks, landlord verification, if applicable, and a one- to two-week trial period.
Antietam Humane Society adoption fees are generally $120 for dogs, $75 for kittens and $50 for cats. Animals are spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated.
The shelter’s “wish list” for supplies includes carriers, food, crates, chew toys, flea products, leashes, collars, litter boxes, towels, blankets, bleach and office supplies.
For more information, call 717-762-9091. Some of the shelter’s animals are available for viewing at www.petfinder.com/shelters/PA109.html.