Images from NH SPCA.
11 Dogs + Another 36 = 1 Challenging Situation for the NH SPCA
STRATHAM – The New Hampshire SPCA said normally taking in 11 adult dogs in one day would be challenging, but it’s nothing compared to another situation employees have been facing for the last six months.
The New Hampshire SPCA took in 11 mixed breed dogs after they were surrendered to police Thursday. The dogs were surrendered because the owner was too overwhelmed to care for them.
But, the SPCA said it’s not in “normal” circumstances anyway.
For the last six months, 36 German Shepard dogs and three rabbits have been held in its protective custody while their owner faces trial on animal cruelty charges.
“Holding animals for extended periods of time while court battles drag on is tragic,” said Executive Director of the NH SPCA Lisa Dennison in a blog post on the organization's website. “These animals are being fed, cared for, cleaned up after and kept healthy. Many are growing up having never known a home. They require a great deal from our staff and volunteers, but the hardest part is that we don’t know when there will be a chance for them to find a home.
“German Shepherds need to be active and right now we have puppies growing up in kennels and dogs that should be living in loving homes, just waiting. We do our very best, but a shelter or a kennel is not a home.”
The New Hampshire SPCA states it is required by law to keep the animals, held as evidence until the court decides their fate.
The burden of 36 dogs is costly. The towns of Bristol and Alexandria, where the case started last December, are not assisting financially.
“It is unknown at this time if and when restitution may be ordered and if so, how and when the funds might reach us,” the SPCA wrote. “History is not on our side…at this point, our expenses exceed $100,000 and typically only 18% of restitution cases ordered are actually ever paid.”
Jennifer Choate, the owner of the 36 dogs and bunnies, pled not guilty in February. NH SPCA states the trial has been delayed multiple times.
“We have spent through our SOS Emergency Fund which was established to help with the cost of rescuing animals,” Dennison said.
The 11 dogs that arrived on Thursday will be examined, given care as needed and will hopefully be available for adoption soon the organization stated – as the German Shepherds remain in limbo.
If you are interested in the cost and care of the animal, the NH SPCA asks you to donate to the SOS Fund.