News on the HSUS “Rescued” AL Dogs

Here’s where we stand on tracking the dogs HSUS secretly “rescued” from a home in AL, shipped off to various undisclosed locations and have since tried to dangle shiny objects in front of anyone who inquires about the case:

10 dogs sent to Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC – a gassing shelter with a high kill rate.  They killed 3 of the dogs shortly after arrival.  After the local paper published an expose on flagrant mismanagement at the facility, HSUS asked other NC groups to take the surviving dogs.  Four went to Humane Society of Charlotte including a pregnant bitch.  Three went to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg shelter.  Their kill rate is about 65%.  2 of the 3 are listed on Char-Meck’s site – Daisy (ID#A797513) and an unnamed male (A797514).  The 3rd dog remains unaccounted for.  (Searches for pets with ID #s A797512 or A797514 come up empty.)

10 dogs went to PAWS Atlanta, all remain in quarantine.

10 dogs went to the Nashville Humane Association.  I had a very brief phone conversation with a gal there this week and she said none of them are up for adoption but when they are, they’ll appear on the group’s website.  I was unable to ask if all 10 are still alive so their statuses remain unknown at this time.

3 dogs went to Bliss Animal Haven in Loganville, GA (Thank you reader Samantha!):

Bliss is an Emergency Services Placement Partner with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  When there is a hoarding case seizure or puppy mill rescue in our region, we are sometimes contacted and asked to take in some of the rescued dogs.  The three boys below came from a hoarder in Alabama who had a total of 48 dogs living in filth and neglect on her property.  We are glad to have Jake, Quinn, and Trevor in our care!  They are learning how to socialize and be around people, putting on weight, and slowly gaining confidence.  These three boys deserve the best, loving homes out there!  Check them out at our Adoptable Pets tab.  And if you would like to sponsor Jake, Quinn, or Trevor (who is being treated for heartworm disease), please send us an email:

(Note:  48 dogs?  The HSUS press release said 44.  Is one of these a typo and if so, which one?)

4 dogs went to New Leash on Life in Wilson Co, TN  (Thank you reader Jeanne!)  Bringing up from comments on previous post:

4 of the missing dogs found at New Leash on Life. […] Sadly, one puppy ran away from her foster home and hasn’t been found. Two others sound like “adoption pending” and the third is on their website for adoption.

I’m assuming the one for adoption is Sassy (D10-496).  The description for Sassy also refers to a total of 48 dogs.

3 dogs remain in Marshall Co.  Deets:

Kevin Hooks, the ACO for Marshall Co, offered to help track down the missing dogs taken from his county by HSUS without his knowledge.  He found that 3 of the dogs remained at a humane society in Marshall Co.  One has since been killed due to unsocial behavior.  The group continues to work with the other 2 dogs who are apparently also very unsocial but are up for adoption.

Mr. Hooks learned that HSUS arrived in Marshall Co from Washington D.C. in a big van filled with HSUS staff.  No one besides the large HSUS group participated in the surrender and removal of the dogs at the home.  All 44 dogs were taken to a local sheltering facility where a veterinarian tested them for heartworm (only 1 positive, the other 43 negative) and issued health certificates.  The dogs were all physically healthy, most of them had red coats and appeared to be mixes but there were a couple black dogs.  The dogs stayed overnight at the local facility before HSUS drove away with 41 of the dogs to be dropped off at various locations on the trip back to D.C.

Mr. Hooks lamented the several missed opportunities in the case.  Had he been advised of what was happening in his county, he would have liked to have participated.  He said that while he could pay hundreds of dollars to attend a seminar somewhere to talk about how to photograph, tag and ID a large group of dogs, there’s nothing like hands-on experience.  He would have been happy to volunteer his time in order to get that experience.  It would have been an excellent training opportunity for the 7 ACOs in the area to be involved in this operation in his view.  In addition, he feels it was a missed opportunity to educate the public about the benefits of neutering, the nature of animal hoarding, etc.  He is very receptive to the idea of improving the lives of pets in need in Marshall Co and comes across as someone genuinely trying to do the best he knows how for the animals.

“If anyone wants to come to Marshall Co, we would love to have help,” Mr. Hooks added.

He related a story to me of a rescue operation in Marshall Co involving 14 poodles.  He said the story was on the TV news the night it happened and within 24 hours, all the dogs were adopted and a local groomer had offered to groom them all for free.  He mentioned a couple of no kill shelters in the area that he felt would certainly have helped out with the 44 dogs had HSUS advised them of the situation.

It sounds to me like Marshall Co, AL has a lot of good, caring folks who love their pets.  I wonder why HSUS wrote them off without even giving the community the opportunity to step up and take care of their own?  Why would they drive off with 41 Marshall Co dogs and scatter them in cities throughout the south who already face their own challenges saving their communities’ pets?  Did the owner surrender all her dogs with full knowledge that they might be killed if the receiving groups made the decision to do so?  There are still so many unanswered questions in this case.  But, with everyone’s help (everyone except HSUS, of course), at least we are finding out what happened to the dogs.  Thank you to everyone who has been looking for these dogs!

4 dogs remain unaccounted for (assuming there were 44 total), possibly with a rescue group or shelter in TN, GA or NC.

Anyone with info on the whereabouts of those dogs, please share.

18 thoughts on “News on the HSUS “Rescued” AL Dogs

  1. I’d love to know what the HSUS said to the owner to get him to surrender his dogs without police powers, a search warrant, or a court order.

    Anyone hear anything from him?

  2. Nashville Humane is low-kill, meaning they don’t kill for space but may put dogs down due to illness or behavior problems (hoping that means incurable illness and very severe aggression but you never know). PAWS Atlanta is no-kill and well-regarded in the Atlanta rescue community. New Leash on Life is no-kill and very well-regarded throughout the Southeast as well as in their area.

    I’m planning to check into Bliss since I’m not familiar with them but have do have contacts in that area.

    But pity the poor dogs who went to NC.

    1. Don’t pity all the dogs that went to NC, at least four of them anyway. I saw on the Humane Society of Charlotte’s website a dog named “Chow Phat” that looks very much like the dog “Murray” that was killed. Could it be him? Maybe Murray wasn’t one that was killed. It says he recently had eye surgery to repair his turned in eyelids.

      1. Many of the dogs are reportedly closely related and look alike. While it’s possible Lincoln Co shelter’s records were incorrect when I called, I did speak to 2 different people on 2 different days and both confirmed (via Murray’s ID #) that Murray had been killed because he was “sick”. If the Humane Society of Charlotte would like to share any info about the dogs they have and any needs (monetary or supplies) they have for the AL dogs, I know many of us would be interested.

  3. Meant to add–the following rescues in TN have confirmed they DID NOT receive dogs from the AL “seizure” by HSUS: Grainger Humane, Middle TN Golden Retriever Rescue, and TN Humane Animal League.

  4. WHY OH WHY isn’t the HSUS stepping up to say where these dog went.and what has happened to each and every one. why “ar” we not calling them night and day to ask..WHERE ARE THESE DOGS.. or any other “outing ” site including this one,..

    1. My guess is that H$U$ doesn’t know and doesn’t care where these dogs are. They did a “rescue” (or a bust) and probably took pictures so they can document their own greatness and have lots of file photos for their fund raising propaganda.
      But why did H$U$ want all the Vick dogs killed? And how about those Wilkes County pitt puppies? Vicious, I’m sure!?!
      They did what they always do. They raid, they shuffle, and then they run, with sappy false ads on TV about how they are rescuing and saving neglected and abused animals. NOT.
      And, actually, do we have any right to know where these dogs came from or where they went?
      Dog laundering can be messy. This is just one part of it. Breaks my heart.

      1. HSUS asks for public donations so they can rescue animals. Hell yes I have a right to know where these dogs went. Because it’s looking a lot less like “rescue” and a lot more like dog laundering to me. This is exactly the sort of scam we do not need in the south – HSUS swooping in, reinforcing bad stereotypes about how the local communities in the south are too irresponsible and uncaring to step up in a crisis, then depositing dogs in secret locations – some of which are already killing their own communities’ pets, ostensibly because of “overpopulation”.

    2. @Alice Suggestion to everyone who wants answers to these questions: Send email to Wayne Pacelle, not via comment link on blog but via regular HSUS email. Suggest subject line: “Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?” Necessary to be polite, respectful, brief. Just the facts, just the questions you have. Power of one.

  5. From YesBiscuit: “It sounds to me like Marshall Co, AL has a lot of good, caring folks who love their pets. I wonder why HSUS wrote them off without even giving the community the opportunity to step up and take care of their own?”
    HSUS does this, that is why. Somewhere in the many articles about this terrible case of theft and cover-up I remember a comment from HSUS claiming that Marshall Co., AL, is one of those “underserved” communities. And by the way, that was the exact phrase HSUS used to beg for that 25K grant from Pepsi on the first of December! Sound familiar to anyone else? HSUS has insulted Alabama (a state with a high poverty rate to begin with) for with nasty language about how Alabama requires – by law – that each county have an animal shelter, and guess what . . . Marshal Co. is one of those ‘damned’ counties without a shelter. If I were Mr. Hooks, I would be shouting from the rooftop (maybe a car’s rooftop, since there is obviously no funding for a bridk and mortar shelter) for HSUS to DONATE THAT $25K PEPSI GRANT TO MARSHALL COUNTY!
    I like that idea, how about you? $25K is petty cash to HSUS with their $120 million budget. What a bunch of crooks they are, greedy and power hungry, cruel, insulting and patronizing beyond belief, with absolutely no use for animals except for their images that bring in big bucks.
    And just my own editorializing, this case has been labeled a ‘hoarding’ situation, but in reality, it is unique, does not fit into such a nice little box, but of course, using the buzz word ‘hoarding’ allows HSUS to really hammer someone who is elderly, not well, overwhelmed by life and in need of help, not punishment or public embarrassment, shaming. Shame on HSUS. Again. and again. and again . . .

    1. I agree with your overuse of the hoarding label, and how the HSUS and others abuse it. True hoarders are rare and the extent of their mental imbalances may take a while to become evident.

      After 15 years of part-time volunteering in cat rescue in Texas, I have only met one genuine hoarder. His name is Ronald Teague. Google him and read all about him.

      In 2006, he was arrested for outstanding warrants. At this time, he was living in a Budget Suites with about 17 cats/kittens. Our shelter took 3 of the cats at the hotel manager’s request.

      When Teague was released from prison several months later, he telephoned the shelter and demanded we return his cats. We refused for obvious reasons. He then threatened to kill me and another volunteer (I handled his call), and to even burn the shelter down.

      It was this last threat that clearly illustrated his degree of mental illness. He wanted his cats back so badly that he was prepared to kill them.

      We ended up taking turns sleeping at the shelter until he was eventually arrested, but this didn’t stop him from stealing the shelter mail.

      Somehow I don’t see the elderly owner of these dogs to be in the same league as Ron, or other true hoarders. But the HSUS and some other AR groups sure like to throw the label around. It’s a label that sticks for years.

      And it illustrates how foolish it is for certain cities to set pet limits. Do the folks down at City Hall who vote for the pet limits really believe that hoarders like Ron will obey these laws?

      1. Oh, you touched on a soft spot for me, Melina. I live in the city with the most restrictive pet limit in North America. We are allowed 2 “class 3” animals, which includes dogs, cats and rabbits or any mix thereof. So two rabbits and a cat makes you a criminal, and our city council, after 5 years of hearing from specialists, ACO officers from areas with no limits (including Calgary) and repeated information packages and hearings feel the limit is perfectly acceptable.

        They get particularly upset with me when we discuss increasing the limit. I want it abolished, and in its place much stricter requirements for cleanliness, care, tethering, kenneling, barking, biting and loose animals. Requirements for identification, stricter fines for those that break the laws, and in return more leash free areas provided and properly patrolled, and any internet or online local puppy sales to be taxed.

        I don’t agree that my neighbour down the road can humanely take care of a single dog, and the care laws would prevent him from doing so.

        On the other hand, when the local SPCA invaded a mansion owned by an elderly man a few years ago and found about 45 cats, all fixed with veterinary records, well fed, in good health with basement full of litterboxes that were obviously scooped very regularly and decided that the man should be allowed to keep his cats – only to have Animal Control swoop in and remove all but two (the other 48 were euthanized by the way due to overcrowding at AC – we also have one of the highest euth rates per capita in our area) for the simple reason that he was “over the limit”….

        Clearly care laws make more sense!

        Limit laws are in place now and they don’t stop hoarders. They don’t even slow them down. All they do is make criminals out of animal lovers, foster homes and rescue organizations.

        Sorry… like I said… soft spot.

  6. I can tell you about one of the AL dogs…..the pregnant bitch (now Merry) delivered a huge litter of puppies just before christmas and she and the surviving puppies are sleeping safely in my living room. I am her foster home and committed to seeing her through weaning the pups, recovering, and finally finding her forever home. I am just a foster home and have no information on the other dogs that HSC has. Be assured that she is safe, being well cared for, and loving the attention she receives!

    1. Wonderful news – thanks for sharing and for taking good care of Merry! How many pups survived? Does Merry have any needs for donated items or cash?

  7. She has five healthy puppies. The ones that did not survive were extremely small…and given the conditions they were living in at the time of her heat cycle, the number of dogs around during that entire time…well you can imagine. Poor girl.
    As with any shelter/rescue, donations and sponsorships are always appreciated, but she has not been a burden to the shelter or my home at all :). HSC has been blessed with a dedicated volunteer base that I wish all rescue organizations could experience. Merry is fortunate to have made it this far, and I will keep you posted as her story progresses. Thanks for the work you and everyone reading this does!!!

  8. RE: 3 dogs remain in Marshall Co. Deets:
    “Kevin Hooks, the ACO for Marshall Co, offered to help track down the missing dogs taken from his county by HSUS without his knowledge. He found that 3 of the dogs remained at a humane society in Marshall Co.”

    I could find no Humane Society listed in Marshall County. Could the Humane society to whom Hooks refers be::
    Marshall County Animal Welfare Society: Hwy 431, Albertville, AL 35950: (205) 878-3877

    Just wondering if this Animal Welfare Soc, if it is the one where three of the HSUS Confiscated dogs are were told from where these dogs came, or have information on the name of the owner/hoarder/overwhelmed person from whom the dogs were “rescued”.

    1. No it’s a different shelter. I updated the list in my most recent post on the subject after receiving some additional info. If they do know the name of the owner, I’m guessing they wouldn’t release it.

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