The Jack Russell terrier and corgi mix, Labrador retriever and a mixed-breed spitz were given to Humane Society members John and Lura Sheppard, and Bob and Ellen Barker. Another Jack Russell terrier died from malnutrition, Lura Sheppard said.
The newly formed Humane Society in Scott County does not have a facility for dog care, but rather uses foster homes like the Sheppards’ and the Barkers’ to care for lost and abused animals.
Sheppard said the dogs came to them in rough shape. They fought over food, and the Jack Russell seemed to be scared of the lab, she said.
“They were alive but in pitiful condition,” she said.
Now, the dogs’ bellies are filling out, and they are acting more friendly toward each other as they have begun to realize they have access to food.
Sheppard said they took in the terrier, which they named Hank, and the lab, Lucky, and both are loving dogs now.
“I worked with the lab for a few minutes and taught her to sit upon command,” Sheppard said. “She is very smart and very adoptable, and so is little Hank.”
All three dogs have been released to the county and can now be adopted. The original owner’s trial on neglect charges is scheduled for later this month.
The prior owner has no more legal right to the animals, Sheppard said. They can all be adopted.
Sheppard suggested that, due to their past, all three dogs would be better off in a home where they are the only dogs.
While the Humane Society in Scott County works to rescue dogs that have been abused, the members are also trying to ensure that pets are spayed and neutered to prevent unwanted animals from being born.
The problem is bad enough with dogs, she said. “We are desperately trying to recruit families as foster homes and are raising money for a facility.”
Sheppard said they need a facility where cats can be housed. There is a huge feral cat population in the area, she said.
Sheppard would like to see the cats taken off the streets and sterilized.
“We had one lady with 40 cats that came to her home from another woman who was hoarding them,” she said.
The smaller dogs that are found in the county and are considered adoptable go to In His Hands Rescue in Hiltons, where Pam Lucas takes care of them. Lucas lists the dogs on the Internet and has a good record of getting them new homes.
The Scott County Humane Society recently qualified for a nonprofit 501-C3 status that allows donors to get a tax break, said Sheppard.
There are about 20 members of the Scott County Humane Society. They meet at City Hall in Gate City at 10 a.m. on the second Saturday of the month.