Dozens of dogs rescued during blizzard

posted on Friday, February 5, 2021 in News

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UPDATE (6:54 p.m. 2/8/2021)

Because of the conditions they were living in, the dogs from our Marengo rescue haven’t had the experiences that many “normal” dogs have, so a lot of the world is new to them. Yesterday, the dogs got toys for the very first time. Most weren’t sure what to think, others were curious, and some – like the cutie in this video – started to try to play.

UPDATE (6:00 p.m. 2/5/2021)

The Marengo dogs have been settling in well during their first 24 hours in our care. As soon as they were placed in their warm, safe kennels last night, they all fell asleep, and they’ve been sleeping cuddled up next to each other much of the day today. All are still very fearful, but some have started coming up to the doors and wagging when we come by. They have a long way to go, but we are thankful that they’re out of the cold and in a place where they can finally get the medical and behavioral care they need.

A huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far toward their care. They have weeks, if not months, of recovery ahead, and you make it possible for them to get the second chances they deserve – no matter how long it takes.

Special thanks to Safe Haven of Iowa County for reaching out for help with these dogs and for taking some of the dogs into their care.

UPDATE (10:00 a.m. 2/5/2021)

When the call came to help 40+ dogs in dire need, we immediately jumped into action.

When the blizzard rolled in as we were making the 90-mile drive from Des Moines to Marengo (in Iowa County) we kept driving.

We knew that with negative double-digit temperatures ahead, these dogs couldn’t wait. On the way to the property one of the 4 vehicles in our caravan slid off the road, so we towed it back on and continued on. But we knew it meant we had to act fast. With country roads and a blizzard in progress, we had a short window to get everyone people and dogs out safely.

Even in the middle of a blizzard, we were there.

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Conditions only worsened once we arrived. As the snow and wind picked up, we found dozens of dogs confined in pens. Their only shelter was 2 run-down buildings and a camper with most of the floor missing. Junk littered the buildings and there were inches of feces everywhere. The dogs were wet and cold. Some were shaking.

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Catching the dogs was not easy as they ran and hid among the junk. They were so fearful and undersocialized that it took multiple people to get each of them safely into crates for the ride back. Our hearts broke for them, but we knew they would be safe and warm soon.

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By the time we got them loaded up, the snow drifts were so deep that one of our vehicles was stuck, so we started digging. But that was only the beginning of our travel challenges. Snow and multiple accidents made many roads impassable. What should have been a 1.5-hour trip took over 4 hours.

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Once rescuers finally made it back to the ARL, our Miracle Medical Team took over and began examining, vaccinating, and treating the dogs. Almost all were sneezing and had runny noses. Their teeth were rotten, several had matted fur, and most had fleas. Nearly all will need spay/neuter surgeries. We are especially concerned about one dog who was showing signs of respiratory distress.

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Their medical concerns are significant, but their biggest challenge is going to be their behavioral needs. They are so fearful, it’s heartbreaking. 

We worked late into the evening to get them all settled into warm, clean beds, with full bowls of fresh food and water, for what is likely the first time in their lives. This morning, they woke up indoors, safe from the frigid temperatures. But that was just the first step in their journey.

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Their road to recovery is going to be long. We still are running tests to see what other illnesses they may have, and because of their living conditions, our veterinarians suspect many will be positive for heartworms, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.

The conditions for our rescuers yesterday were brutal, but the dogs couldn’t wait. And thanks to you, they didn’t have to. Now that they’re safe, they need your help to finally get the second chance they deserve no matter how long that takes.

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Please donate today to show these dogs that you are there for them today and every day. Your gift will show them that after all they have been through, there is still hope. It will get better.

We are committed to helping these dogs. Will you join us?

P.S., When you donate today or enroll in our Loyal Friends Club monthly giving program, you'll be automatically enrolled to receive exclusive updates on these dogs' progress.

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS

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ORIGINAL POST (11:37 a.m. 2/4/2021)

ARL Mobile Response Teams were dispatched this morning, right as the winter storm began, to rescue 40-50 dogs from a property in Eastern Iowa. After a difficult travel, the teams just arrived and the rescue is now in progress.

We will share more details as they become available, but right now these dogs need your help.

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