UPDATE: No charges in Georgia dog hoarding case, officials say

Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove rescued more than 180 Chihuahua-breed dogs with the help of law enforcement from a property in Butts County.
Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove rescued more than 180 Chihuahua-breed dogs with the help of law enforcement from a property in Butts County.

Credit: Noah's Ark Animal Rescue

Credit: Noah's Ark Animal Rescue

More than 180 Chihuahua-breed dogs were rescued July 31 when a local animal shelter and law enforcement recovered them from a property in Butts County.

Despite the presence of deputies on the scene and the confiscation of the dogs, no charges will be filed in this case, according to the Butts County Sheriff’s Office. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office did not explain the department’s reasoning for not filing charges, though the county’s Animal Welfare Department is overseen by the sheriff’s office. In Georgia, animal cruelty laws focus on physically injuring animals and withholding food and water, none of which was reported in this case.

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Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove announced the rescue operation Aug. 4 and will continue to provide care to the dogs until they are adopted. According to the shelter’s announcement, 181 dogs were recovered but, since several were pregnant, three puppies were born in the shelter’s care, bringing the total to 184. The announcement said 30 additional dogs had been rescued from the same property by another organization earlier in the day.

Though the dogs were covered in fleas, they were well-nourished and relatively healthy, the announcement said. The pack has been divided into smaller groups to be assessed. All of them will be treated for fleas, de-wormed, spayed or neutered and vaccinated.

“This is one of the most deplorable cases of animal hoarding I have seen,” Noah’s Ark founder and president Jama Hedgecloth said. “The dogs were everywhere, literally coming out of kitchen cabinets and mattresses. I am grateful we have the staff, volunteers and resources to give these animals a new life. We will rely on our loyal donors to raise the money needed to provide medical treatment and rehab care for this many animals.”

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While the dogs are physically healthy, they have had no human socialization and will need behavioral stabilization in foster environments before they can be adopted, the Noah’s Ark announcement said.

If you are interested in fostering a dog or making a donation to support this immediate need, contact Noah’s Ark at 770-957-0888 or noahs-ark.org.

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Credit: AJC