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‘Overwhelmed’ La Pine woman agrees to relinquish 17 dogs; Humane Society of C.O. caring for them

(Update: HSCO said dogs were in unacceptable conditions,

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Humane Society of Central Oregon is caring for 17 dogs taken from a La Pine woman who authorities say recently adopted them from a rescue operation but became overwhelmed and agreed to relinquish them. Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said she likely won’t face charges.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Doug Jackson said the woman took in some rescue dogs” and soon “realized she was in over her head.”

“She hadn’t had them that long, so no crime at this point,” Jackson said. “She realized she didn’t have the resources to take care of them. They weren’t in poor enough shape to be a crime.”

The Humane Society of Central Oregon was called in to assist and take the relinquished dogs for medical assessment and care, according to Lynne Ouchida, HSCO’s director of community partnerships.

“The entire team spent the day getting ready to receive these dogs, and we worked late into the night,” Ouchida said late Thursday.

“This case will take a lot of time and resources to provide the quality veterinary and daily care that they need,” Ouchida said, adding that “donations will help us secure the medical and care supplies we need for immediate and future needs.”

Most of the dogs were somewhat underweight, according to Ouchida, and one needed immediate medical care for a large wound.

Fortunately, HSCO’s March Madness adoption promotion, under way until next Monday, opened up kennel space needed for the surrendered dogs. “Prior to that, we were at capacity,” she said.

Ouchida said Friday it turned out the woman had tried to start her own rescue program but became overwhelmed. She also said the dogs were not surrendered, per se, but given up due to a welfare check, and did not contact the she shelter for help earlier.

Coinditions at the home when HSCO arrived to take the dogs were unacceptable, she said, with dogs in crates and feces on the floor.

"The conditions of the dogs required us to invest a lot of staff time, as well as resources and veterinary care and medical supplies to take in 17 dogs," Ouchida said.

"Today, we've done diagnostic tests. One dog we did radiographs on and cleaned up and worked on a wound that was pretty severe, and the dog was lame. That's the worst case of them.The rest, we are going to get settled."

In general, Ouchida advised, “People need to do due diligence and research animal rescues they support and adopt from.”

District Attorney Steve Gunnels said he was not aware of the matter and agreed that “it may not be something we would be called about,” if no charges are filed against the woman who took the dogs in and relinquished them.

But he added, “We do want to encourage people to bring animals to a vet or to a shelter or rescue if they can’t take care of the animals. So much better than either continuing to neglect the animals or leaving them in the woods.”

Article Topic Follows: Pets

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Barney Lerten

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