Animal rescue seeing massive increase in emergency cases, bizarre situations

Updated: Aug. 11, 2020 at 10:45 PM EDT
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WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - An animal rescue in Warren County has been overwhelmed with unusual cases during the coronavirus pandemic.

Myles Ahead Animal Sanctuary Rescuers say they have been seeing something they have never seen before.

“Typically you have one, maybe two emergency sort of situations a month, and we’re averaging three to four a week,” Janel Hemrick, the rescue’s director and founder, said.

Hemrick says the unusual calls are coming in almost non-stop. For starters, a mother cat and 12 kittens were left on the side of the road, and a dog with 12 puppies were all left to die.

“Leaving them out there, they’re not going to survive in many a cases,” Hemrick said.

On top of that, Hemrick says the rescue is currently caring for 20 guinea pigs abandoned in the woods at Landen Deerfield Park.

Rescuers are also helping a kitten that was placed on their porch in a delivery box on a hot day. Hemrick says the cat was crushed underneath a bag of food and was struggling to survive.

“He is very skittish and still trying to adjust,” Hemrick said. “There’s been a lot of changes and a lot of trauma in a short period of time.”

Hemrick also said that a canine named RuRu came to them after she mysteriously lost her leg.

One of the most bizarre cases, according to Hemrick, involves ‘The Bean Family,’ made up of a mother cat and her kittens. Two of the kittens came to the rescue with missing legs. Hemrick says someone cut the kittens’ limbs off with scissors.

“We were told that the animals’ umbilical cord was wrapped around their leg, and that’s why the decision was made to do what they did. I can’t tell you if that’s truly what happened,” Hemrick said. “We had to further amputate these kittens legs at a week to 10 days old in order to allow them to heal and to get rid of infection.”

Hemrick believes the COVID-19 pandemic is playing a part in what has been happening. She says that spay-and-neuter surgeries and vet check-ups have been put on hold, which has led to an increase in animals and an increase in emergencies.

Her advice is to stay calm and reach out to rescues for help.

“Be patient. Work with us. Help us,” Hemrick said. “If we just keep moving forward, and we keep our eyes on the prize, I really think that we’re all going to come through this with a different mindset and having learned something.”

Hemrick believes most shelters and rescues are feeling overwhelmed, but she says it is still always best to ask them for help before abandoning an animal.

Myles Ahead Animal Sanctuary and Rescue is always looking for fosters, adopters and donors, especially right now because Hemrick says their adoption events and fundraisers have been postponed or cancelled.

To learn more about how you can help, visit the rescue’s Facebook page or website.

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