ADAMS COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Dozens of animals rescued from a hoarding situation are now in the care of a local organization.
Shelter directors call it a heartbreaking and complex case all around.
Officials with the Humane Society of Adams County said they went to the rural Peebles property several days ago when the man who lived there died.
They said they found a dozen dogs, multiple cats, several goats, and a group of chickens that were in need of rescue.
“It’s tragic,” Jessica Huxmann, the President of the Humane Society of Adams County Board of Directors, said. “I’ve been in this business for a long time, and I’ve seen some pretty terrible things. This is certainly way up there at the top.”
Huxmann described it as a hoarding case.
“There was trash everywhere, piled in the corners. There were trash bags. There were hoses. There were cardboard boxes. There were old food containers. The floor of the trailer was dirty with mud and probably feces,” she said.
According to Huxmann, dog wardens, humane agents, and volunteers spent two days removing the animals from the heartbreaking and unsanitary conditions. Most of the animals are now at the shelter.
Huxmann said almost all of them were starving and suffering from medical issues. One dog has an untreated leg injury, while another puppy will have to lose an eye.
“Very emaciated, very skinny, but still sweet animals, so a testament to the resilience of animals that they don’t hate people even after everything they’ve been through,” Huxmann said.
Rescuers said they are thankful all of the animals were alive. The focus now is on rehabbing and vetting them in hopes that someday soon, they will be ready for adoption.
“It’s gonna be a long road of trying to rehabilitate them to get them confident enough to accept human touch, to be able to be housetrained and be living in a home again,” Huxmann said.
Authorities believe the man who owned the animals had a mental illness. Huxmann said it is a sign that more should be done when it comes to mental health.
“He was living with these animals and not able to care for them properly. None of what we’re doing is to take away from the fact that he was truly an individual that should’ve been helped before now, and we hope that if people see this, in the future, they will reach out to their social services to try to get help,” Huxmann said.
Some of the animals may be placed with other rescues to help them get proper care.
Huxmann said it will take some time before any of them are ready for adoption.
They are accepting donations to help cover the cost of care. Donations can be made online.
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