Cumberland Times-News

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June 16, 2014

33 rescued dogs recovering at shelter

CUMBERLAND — CUMBERLAND — Thirty-three dogs found inside an unoccupied Greene Street property Friday are now recovering from poor health conditions, thanks to an outpouring of community support and the services of two Keyser veterinarians.

“It’s horrible. It’s probably the worst case we have ever seen here in Allegany County,” said Tina Rafferty, executive director of the private, nonprofit Allegany County Animal Shelter Management Foundation that is in a management agreement with the county.

It was mid-afternoon Friday when authorities became aware that there were dozens of dogs left behind in an unoccupied residence at 661 Greene St. where the tenants had moved out a few weeks earlier, possibly by  eviction.

The tenants had resided in the property for 19 years and the landlord reportedly had no idea about the nearly three dozen dogs that her former tenants had left behind.

The identities of the former tenants and their whereabouts were under investigation Monday by the C3I Unit and shelter personnel following consultation with the State’s Attorney’s Office.

While the investigation continues with the possibility of criminal charges, the rescued canines are now in good hands — but they are not yet in good condition.

The dogs ranged in ages from 2 weeks old to a 10-year-old dog that is believed to be the “mother dog” to many of the canines. “It’s amazing that we found them all alive, given the condition of the house. Their medical conditions could have been much worse. We are monitoring them and they are holding their own,” she said.

The dog population at the shelter shot up by 50 percent with Friday’s rescue. Monday, there were 90 dogs housed in the shelter on Furnace Street.

“We are asking folks to consider fostering some of our older dogs. We are also working with some rescues in Vermont and Connecticut and other locations,” said Rafferty.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the shelter and care of the rescued dogs may visit www.ashelterofhope.com.

Jeffrey Alderton may be contacted at jlalderton@times-news.com.

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