January 27th, 2014
The hundred-plus dogs from the Olympic Animal Sanctuary had a long, long road to rescue. When they made it to their new location, RedRover Responders volunteers were there to provide emergency sheltering for these special dogs.
The Olympic Animal Sanctuary (OAS) in Forks, Washington, was known as a place where difficult and/or dangerous dogs could be sent for training and rehabilitation. Over time, conditions at the sanctuary reportedly declined, and local activists took notice and began to protest. When protests over the conditions grew, the owner of the sanctuary loaded up the dogs in a tractor-trailer and began driving them south. He was finally persuaded by New York rescue group Guardians of Rescue (GOR), to stop in Arizona and surrender ownership of the dogs to GOR.
“This kind of animal transportation crisis is, unfortunately, not unique,” said Beth Gammie, RedRover’s Emergency Services Manager. “Whether it is a puppy mill or a hoarding case, when caregivers recognize a threat of impending action, sometimes they think the only way out is to flee with their animals. Sadly, it puts tremendous stress on the animals, often subjecting them to inhumane transportation conditions and can turn a bad situation into a crisis.”
When RedRover Responders volunteers arrived on the scene, temporary kennels had been constructed on the desert site by volunteers with GOR. RedRover reached out to the Arizona Humane Society and they immediately sent a veterinarian, vet technicians, and supplies to conduct exams on the dogs. “Arizona Humane Society stepped up in a huge way to provide veterinary care and intake exams on the dogs,” said Beth.
RedRover Responders volunteers went to work, providing good, nourishing food to the dogs, keeping their kennels clean and providing clean water. One volunteer reported, “It was so awesome to see the life actually start coming back into these pups eyes’ after a couple days of a routine for them. You want to make a difference somehow, and to see it like that is wonderful.”
Many of the rescued dogs have already left the emergency shelter site. Guardians of Rescue has placed them with rescue groups and we are already seeing photos of them in their new families or foster homes.
Transportation-related cases are often fraught with danger for the animals involved. Improper preparation for long-distance transportation can present stressful conditions for animals, such as heat exhaustion, hunger, the inability to relieve themselves and dehydration. RedRover Responders volunteers responded without hesitation, knowing the conditions would be difficult, and they delivered the trademark loving care and kindness for which they are known.