SPEARFISH, S.D. — Following the seizure of over 30 abused and neglected dogs from a Whitewood residence last year, the Western Hills Humane Society in Spearfish does has some good news to share. Following months of rehabilitation, many are now ready for adoption.
It was a sad day for officials who had to rescue the dogs, but the beginning of a new life for the young animals who had known only suffering.
The redbone coonhounds and Rottweiler-mixed puppies are mostly under a year old, and had only known a life of neglect that left them malnourished, sick, and socialized.
“Yeah, so when we first got them, they were all pretty traumatized, really scared,” said director Emmalee Hollick. “You had to pick them up if you wanted to bring them anywhere. Their gut was all messed up because they were eating plastic, pretty much anything they could get their hands on. And now that we have them and we’ve had them for, what, four months now. They have done a full 180.”
Along with incredibly poor diets, and lack of interaction, several were found living in a van and bath tub. The animals were given a special diet – and plenty of human interaction to prepare them for adoption.
“I think it’s just like constantly being there, constantly petting them and sitting there with them and playing with them has helped tremendously with how they’re doing right now,” said Hollick.
The love and care the dogs were given was everything they needed to prepare them for their next roles as family pets.
“As of Tuesday, we had eight three-year-old puppies, or three-day-old puppies,” said Hollick. “And they got adopted as well as their mama on Tuesday. And as of Wednesday, we had seven males, and they all got neutered and rabies, so they’re ready to go, ready to be adopted. And then we have five females that in the next few weeks, they’ll get fixed and get their rabies shot, and they’ll be ready to get adopted.”
The humane society is a no-kill shelter, that operates solely on the generosity of the community, and is thankful for the support they received while caring for the animals. Many donors reached out, including from Washington D.C. and North Carolina to provide aid for the puppies.
Head to Western Hills Humane Society for adoption and donation information.