Animal Shelter sends 37 dogs to shelters up north, receives 35 cats from hoarding rescue

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
37 dogs were picked up Thursday morning at the Ardmore Animal Shelter to be sent to empty shelters in Iowa and Illinois.

It’s been a week of ups and downs at the Ardmore Animal Shelter. On Thursday morning 37 dogs were picked up to be transported to shelters in Iowa and Illinois. But, earlier in the week, the Carter County Sheriff’s Department dropped off 35 cats that were taken from an animal hoarding situation.

Supervisor Amanda Dinwiddie said these events represent the largest animal rescue transport and the largest animal hoarding influx the shelter has ever seen.

“This has been our worst hoarding case ever,” Dinwiddie said. “They were all living in an RV, but fortunately all the cats are in surprisingly good health. They’re all well-fed, healthy and friendly.”

Dinwiddie said this brings the number of cats currently living in the shelter to over 70, which puts the shelter over capacity. She is hopeful another rescue organization or members of the public can step in to help find homes for all of the cats.

She said animal rescue organizations follow the shelter’s social media pages to find out about animals that could be transported to other areas of the country where there are shortages of pets available for adoption. In fact, that is how the arrangements were made for the dogs sent north on Thursday.

“I spoke with a coordinator who has worked with the shelters up north for about 15 years now,” Dinwiddie said. “She and her husband borrowed a transport van from King Harvest Pet Rescue in Iowa then drove down down here to pick up the dogs. They’ll all be going to rescues in Illinois and Iowa that are no kill shelters. Believe it or not there are places that have zero dogs in their shelters, so they’ve reached out to us down here to fill that need.”

She said some of the dogs sent north have been living in the shelter for several months, but one good girl in particular stands out.

“Lala had been with us since January 31,” Dinwiddie said. “We’d posted her on Facebook several times, put her in the paper, but nobody decided to come get her. Normally after a while their spirits start to drop and shelter life starts to take its toll, but she stayed such a sweet dog. I knew she was one who needed  to make the trip, and I was especially happy to see her go out the door.”

Even with Thursday’s transport, there are still several dogs available for adoption for $65 and an abundance of cats available for $45. The shelter is also currently in need of cleaning supplies like bleach and Lysol to keep conditions sanitary and safe for both pets and the public.