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Animals taken from squalid conditions in Humane Society 'rescue'

Thanks to the Humane Society of the Lakes, nine dogs, eight kittens, a chicken, a pigeon, a bunny, a goat and a horse will lead happier, healthier lives.

Volunteers took part in an animal rescue last weekend where they found many neglected animals, brought them to the shelter and have found good homes for some of them already.

In December, Lawrence Adams, rural Detroit Lakes, died and the humane society obtained permission to go on the property south of Detroit Lakes and take some of the animals. At the time, they took six dogs and were informed someone would be staying at the residence and taking care of the remaining animals.

But last weekend it was clear no one was taking care of those animals. Volunteer Yvette Anderson called into the humane society with a request to rescue the animals.

Rescues are very rare for Humane Society of the Lakes because there isn't staff to do the rescues and have a limited area to place the animals once rescued.

Anderson said it wasn't just a safety threat for the animals, but for people traveling the road too. The horse and goat were left to roam and found on the road several times.

The group of volunteers, backed by two Becker County sheriff deputies, got signed permission to again go on the property and rescue the remaining animals. What they found amazed and disgusted them.

The animals were clearly neglected. Some were placed in cages they could barely stand in. Some had no shelter at all. Some were on two-foot chains. Cages were filled with feces. And none of the animals were fed properly -- some were fed dead calves with the skeletons still in the cages.

"They were appalled," Anderson said of the deputies when they saw the conditions. "The deputies were there (with the volunteers) for a physical presence."

The volunteers loaded up the smaller animals, and Anderson and a deputy returned later in the day with a trailer to take the horse and goat.

"It's amazing the horse could walk," she said.

While some of the animals were skittish about being caught, when offered food, they all came with no problem, Anderson said.

We "thought it would be harder than it was," she said of rounding up the animals. "They just wanted to eat."

Last weekend they took all the animals except one black cat that wouldn't let them get near it.

Of the dogs taken in December, one dog had to be euthanized due to health issues and the other five were adopted.

Of the animals from the recent rescue, the eight kittens and three dogs are at the shelter, the pigeon went with a volunteer, the chicken went to a farm, the bunny went to a home, and the horse and goat were taken to a new location.

Humane Society of the Lakes Director Erica Borsheim said people need to remember and understand there are Minnesota laws that regulate how an animal needs to be cared for including shelter, cleanliness, food, etc.

"Animals are beings, too," Anderson said.

On a lighter note, Humane Society of the Lakes is working with Pet Smart in Fargo on adopting out cats. There's a shortage of felines in that area, so Borsheim has been working with them to adopt cats and kittens from the Becker County area.

She said they have adopted out nine cats in two weeks.

Pet Smart takes care of the adoption for the humane society, but all the money comes back to Humane Society of the Lakes.

"It's a wonderful thing for us. We have a lot of kittens here," she said.

On Sept. 14 and 16, Humane Society of the Lakes is also working with Petco in Fargo and will be holding Adoption Days. They'll be taking cats and dogs from the shelter up to Fargo to adopt out.