Cost of caring for seized dogs overwhelming

Cost of caring for seized dogs overwhelming »Play Video
SKAGIT COUNTY, Wash. --The cost of caring for 598 dogs seized last week from suspected puppy mills has proven to be staggering.

Shelters in the area have been housing and caring for the rescued dogs, who were found living in deplorable conditions.

Deputies found many dogs without access to food or water. Many dogs were heavily matted and standing in their own feces on wire cages or a cement floor. Some dogs were found dead and laying in a plastic crate next to live dogs in their own crates.

Area shelters are glad to help nurse these neglected dogs back to health, but costs are already mounting.

Food alone is no small expense given the number of dogs. Most of the animals are pregnant and due to give birth to roughly 1,500 puppies.

Many of the animals have parasites and medicine is expensive. And veterinarians say all of the dogs need dental care. Some dogs have rotted jaws from dental neglect. Dental work costs about $200 per pet, which means the total bill will top $119,000.

To help cut costs even a little, KOMO News presented the Humane Society of Skagit Valley with a $2,000 check.

"We're expecting mass, mass vet bills, so this will definitely help," said Joan Crane, founder of Saving Pets One at a Time in Burlington.

"It's all going to spay and neuter, spay and neuter," said Sandy Nelson with the Humane Society.

Donations to the KOMO Problem Solvers found bought 60 washable, raised dog beds for the Everett Animal Shelter. The beds will get the seized dogs off of the cold concrete.

The spaying and neutering will have to wait for now. Those procedures can't be performed until the owners either release their animals to the counties or lose custody.

Because this is a potential criminal case, none of the dogs are available for adoption at this time.

What S.P.O.T. really needs is transportation to and from the veterinarians. The organization has no way to get so many dogs around. If you have a small bus you can donate, So, if you have a small bus you can donate, e-mail KOMO News.

If you'd like to make an online donation to help pay for the dogs' care, click here.