19 dachshunds getting care, need fosteringLady Bird, a friendly dachshund with short brown hair and a wagging tail, has a long recovery ahead of her, but her prognosis is favorable. She is just one of 19 dachshunds Prairie Paws Rescue saved this week from a hoarder in the Valley City-Oriska area. While all the dachshunds had been fed, their well-meaning owner could not take care of them adequately.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
Lady Bird, a friendly dachshund with short brown hair and a wagging tail, has a long recovery ahead of her, but her prognosis is favorable.
She is just one of 19 dachshunds Prairie Paws Rescue saved this week from a hoarder in the Valley City-Oriska area. While all the dachshunds had been fed, their well-meaning owner could not take care of them adequately.
“They seem to be social. They seem to be friendly,” said Becky Johnson, co-founder of Prairie Paws. “They should be fine.”
This particular rescue has been a long-term one. It started a year ago, and dogs have been removed from the household in question three times in groups of 10 to 20.
“Hoarding issues are treated more like an illness — there’s no malice in this,” Johnson said. “It’s an illness when people get this, and they think they’re doing very well for the dogs and these things just get out of hand.”
The dogs’ owner moved into assisted living and a third party called Prairie Paws Monday night to see if the rescue organization could take the dachshunds. On Tuesday, the caller and Prairie Paws met in Valley City and transferred the 19 dogs.
Now the dachshunds are temporarily residing in a new shelter — a remodeled chicken coop on Prairie Paws co-founder Kaye John’s farm. The Tompkins Group from the North Dakota State Hospital worked on the kennel for free, putting up siding and insulation, and Cargill Cares donated fencing for the project, leaving Prairie Paws with a bill of only $1,700. The group is continuing to raise funds for the project.
Prairie Paws is looking for foster homes for the dachshunds, which range in age from 3 months to 5 years old. They are socialized, but a few of them are nervous and timid. Foster families should not expect the dogs to be house trained, either, and will have to spend time socializing with them.
Food, bowls and medical work will be provided, and should a foster family leave town for a weekend, Prairie Paws will pay boarding fees if no other arrangements can be made.
“I’d love to get them foster homes in the area,” John said. “If not, we’re hoping some of the other rescue organizations could take one, two, or five at a time to help.”
It will take some time before all the dogs are ready to be fostered, however. Some are healthy enough to find a new temporary or permanent home in the next week, but the dogs with mange face a long recovery and will likely need three to six months before they can be released to a family, Johnson said.
Lady Bird has the worst case of mange, though five other dogs will also be treated for the skin condition.
Some of the older dogs in the group had dental problems or skin and hair problems. All of them will have to be spayed and neutered and treated for parasites.
The cost of the treatments will likely be at least $100 per dog, leaving Prairie Paws with a $1,900 medical bill at best. While the group has plenty of food and bedding for the 19 dogs, Prairie Paws is in need of monetary donations to help pay the dogs’ medical bill.
The group is also seeking volunteers — not just those who can foster a cat or dog, but people who are willing to set up fundraisers and bring pets to medical appointments, John said.
Though her face and forepaws are covered with grayish, itchy skin, Lady Bird is not contagious, and repeated dip treatments and medicated shampoo should clear up her mange problem.
“We will have to see how she responds to the treatment, but she’s a young dog, and I’m optimistic that she will be fine,” said veterinarian Barb Looysen of Country Acres Veterinary Clinic, who examined the dogs.
Prairie Paws will host a meet-and-greet event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at Tractor Supply Co. in Jamestown.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at klucin@ jamestownsun.com