Sunday, February 21, 2010

Crosspost-please consider reposting


Some of you may have heard about the raid of a sanctuary/hoarding situation in Trumbull County last Friday. Animals were suffering and living in horrific conditions with no food, water and very little housing in Ohio's freezing winter. Many had frostbite, serious skin conditions and many other medical problems.

A friend of mine has been directly involved and has been keeping me posted on the events. Today I spoke with the Executive Director, Barbara Busko, of the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County who is caring for the animals. As of today the court awarded the animals to AWL.

They confiscated 162 dogs,18 cats, 2 horses and numerous ducks, chickens and geese.
Many of the animals need medical care. The director told me that of the first 19 heartworm tests to comeback 7 are positve. She also told me that at least 90% of the 162 dogs are pits and pit mixes. AWL does not euthanize because of breed and will do everything they can to help place all of the dogs.

They have an urgent need for donations and to find permanent and temporary foster homes. Applications can be applied for through the Animal Welfare League. Coordination of foster care is being handled by AWL unless the animal is being placed with another animal rescue organization through AWL authorization.

Saturday morning I will be going out to help clean, feed, walk and whatever else I can do to help the animals. Anyone that wants to come with me please let me know. I plan to leave my house by 7:30 am. If you can't come with me on Saturday, but would like to help on another day here is the address where the animals are staying:

186 Cleveland West
Warren, OH

They need help everyday and all day long.

Obviously caring for this number of animals and all the medical issues these animals have requires money. If you wish to make a donation, adopt, foster or rescue an animal contact:

Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County
545 Brunsetter RD SW
Warren, Ohio 44481-9600
(330)394-3512 Office

The animals desperately need our help.

Here was the story on Fox 8 earlier this week.,0,4006236.story

Thank you for caring,

Marlene Kovacevic


I would like to add that last evening, I enjoyed a lengthy and informative conversation with the principals behind the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County (a 501(c)(3) entity) - and now firmly believe that they are pursuing with all available means the best possible outcome for all of these misfortunate companion (and domestic) animals - although help is STILL NEEDED from bona-fine PITBULL RESCUES:

Due to Ohio's increasingly BSL-inclined political situation, the Pitty's pulled from this abhorrent situation (by far, the preponderance of all breeds represented here) face the gravest danger, as they cannot be adopted in several areas!

Out-of-state pit rescues are URGED to contact AWL at the earliest possible opportunity with offers of rescue and transport to areas of safety.

The two AWL representatives with whom I spoke at length have each served with this organization for over three decade - actively involved with both companion AND domestic animal rescue. Despite the disparaging intimations that have been cast regarding their participation, I found them both to be most gracious and ardent in their primary concern: To save these precious companions.

The instigator of this action that finally led to action and intervention by authorities was a woman who had taken two pit to this "rescue": Upon witnessing first-hand the unspeakable conditions prevalent at this facility, this individual - a former law enforcement participant herself - realized that meticulous, thorough preparation would be imperative to instigate action and assure conviction. She undertook to document conditions with video evidence, acting under the guise of a "volunteer".

What she witnessed was unspeakable. and upon presentation of this evidence, legal action was initiated.

This informant approached the AWL with her unsolicited evidence based upon their reputation of long-standing, and with their assistance - (and upon presentation of this evidence to local law enforcement authorities) - legal action was initiated.

Local press reports have stated that these animals ARE available for adoption, and that help in the form of short-term fostering is being sought as well, to accommodate the needs of these 160+ animals, that threatens to overwhelm available assistance.

I urge you to contact AWL with offers of support and assistance:

Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County,
545 Brunstetter Road SW
Warren, Ohio 44481-9600
Humane line (330) 399-2086
Office number (330) 394-3512
Website is

From our conversation:

"We are a 501 (c) 3. Any help you and your network can give to help place our precious rescues will be so very much appreciated. They are mostly medium about 50 lbs to 75 lbs with a few that are larger. Having fed them the first day, we found plastic, straw and other materials in their stools, lots of diarrhea. We had 10 veterinarians and their techs donate their time to examine and document all of them. Groomers are donating their time and a veterinarian is going to 'neuter' 25 for free and is going to talk with other vets to do the same.

We did contact PetSmart Charities and they did provide us with 100 crates and 2000 lbs of dog food. We were initially told that there were only 80 or 86 dogs and 20 to 40 cats. The day of the raid, we ran out of crates and ended up buying 65 large crates.

We are so fortunate that so many people have volunteered their time and services to help and that a local school donated their warehouse and offices for us to use. Steve, what really makes us feel good is that we have earned the public trust as well as our law enforcement and our local elected officials including the judges."

Sadly , one of their most critical cases - a Chow, ravaged by disease, suffering from untreated injuries and the devastating consequences of living in such squalor for so long - perished with one day of being rescued: At least he died in the arms of loving rescuers, and not in the filth where so many, many others preceded him (authorities have added additional felony charges with respect to the multiple containers of 55 gallons or more, found to hold "carcasses and bones").

And the precious senior GSD whose picture led the list of those removed - the one with the abscess in his right ear - was found to be tumor-laden, and rapidly debilitated to the point of being unable to stand: Fear for his ultimate survival is compounded by the belief that the tumor had spread to his bone structures. Now under intensive veterinary care and treatment, his fate may ultimately hinge on the findings of the tumor analysis... (this boy in particular, drew my heart into the midst of this tragedy)



Bless you, all, for your compassionate dedication to the cause of companion animal rescue!


Stephen L. Phillips

(218) 206-2035 mobile
(218) 310-7346 office


The news reports included a telephone number for callers who:

a) wished to help "house" these companions as fosters in the interim, and

b) wished to adopt

stating that as a result of the hearing, they would be available!

"Anyone willing to help the welfare league house some of the animals temporarily is asked to call the shelter at 330-394-4122."

"The court ruling means that anyone interested in adopting one of the animals can contact the Animal Welfare League by calling 330-394-4122"

No comments:

Post a Comment