More than 160 mixed-breed dogs and cats were rescued from a Jefferson Township property after the Adams County Dog and Kennel Department called in the The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center to assist with the operation.
The Adams County Sheriff’s Department served a search warrant on George Brock, owner of the Sugar Bear Dog and Cat Rescue facility off Mt. Unger Road near Otway.
Investigators and local officials descended on Brock’s property on Wednesday and found 148 dogs and 18 cats living in deplorable, unsanitary conditions.
According to an official from the Humane Society, “The dogs didn’t really have water, many didn’t have proper shelter, some of them were malnourished, some had broken bones, severe eye, skin and ear infections.”
Corey Roscoe, Ohio state director for the HSUS, said,”These dogs and cats were in a terrible situation – the owner had too many animals and was unable to provide adequate care. It is a huge relief that they will now receive the care and medical attention they so desperately need. We are grateful to the agencies who collaborated to make this a successful rescue.”
Brock claims he doesn’t understand the allegations. He told WCPO News, “They’re treating me like trash, and like I’m against the dogs. It’s just the opposite.”
He did acknowledge that many of the animals in his care were older and injured, “Nine out of ten of them were fat, overweight actually,” he added. “A lot of ‘em were too fat, I think.”
Deputy Micah Poe who was present during the raid told the Defender, “It was surprising to see the conditions the animals and the people were living in.”
The Adams County Commissioners released a joint statement regarding the animal seizure. “Animals shouldn’t have to suffer in such conditions, and we are glad that these dogs and cats will have the chance at a fresh start. We are thankful for the help of the local and national groups involved in this case.”
Rescuers removed the animals from the property pending the final disposition of the case. The animals will be thoroughly examined and receive any necessary immediate medical treatment at at temporary emergency animal shelter.
Red Rover is assisting with the daily care of the animals, Rescue Bank provided the necessary food, and Greater Good is covering some of the costs for medical care.
According to the Humane Society none of the animals were put down.
The Adams County Ohio Rescue Network, Inc. (ACORN) remarked on their Facebook page, “This is an example of how quickly a rescue can get in over their heads. They became a dumping place for unwanted dogs and cats and tried to take care of them all, but were overwhelmed. This is why we encourage folks to report strays to the warden to pick them up.”
The Dog and Kennel Department (also known as the Pound) has changed in recent years. Euthanasia rates are less than three percent. Dog Warden,Mike Darnall told the Defender, “Every dog that comes in gets vaccinated and wormed, checked for micro chips, fleas, ticks, old and new wounds.”
Amanda Cantrell, Director of the Adams County Humane Society stated, “The county pound (Dog and Kennel Department) does a great job finding homes for dogs and cats. They only euthanize an animal as a last resort.”
Brock is scheduled to appear in court in Adams County on Monday, Dec. 14.