SPRINGFIELD, Mon. (KY3) – It’s not uncommon to call animal control to come out and get a stray dog. b
But there has been a strange stray incident in the Branson area in the past few days that has caused an uproar among officials.
Someone has dumped Chihuahuas in a variety of locations from downtown Branson to Reeds Spring to Branson West and Ridgedale, creating a lot of problems for animal control officers trying to round them up and find a place to hold them.
Various groups were involved in the effort, but Taney County’s Animal Control Department in Hollister, Missouri, has taken in the largest number of dogs with 27 Chihuahuas housed in an area normally reserved for cats on the second floor.
Several people came to the facility on Wednesday to bring food or volunteer to look after the newcomers.
Barb Taylor was asked what made her volunteer while washing dog bowls in a sink.
“The Chihuahuas,” she replied, shaking her head. “That is so sad and that on top of all the other animals (already here). I know they needed help. “
Shelley Kleypas also came over to see what she could do.
“I read on Facebook that they found Chihuahuas all over Branson,” she said. “I’ve always been an animal rights activist and both cats and dogs need human help. People hurt them, but there are many people who want to help them. It’s heartbreaking, but I can’t say I’m surprised that something like this happens. “
Sherry Simpson, the manager of Taney County Animal Control, is certainly used to seeing horrific treatment from animals, but even she was surprised to find repeated calls saying that abandoned Chihuahuas had been found in various locations.
“The Welk Resort area is likely the epicenter,” she said. “That’s where most of them were found. I worked on the Joplin tornado where we had tons of dogs but no this is the first time we’ve seen this and it’s daunting because they aren’t actually bad dogs. They’re all really scared right now. “
Simpson suspects it is a dog breeder who is doing the dumping.
“We see dogs six months and older and most of them are male,” she reasoned. “Very few of them are female. There are backyard growers who are not licensed. It could be such a situation. It could be someone who has lost their home and they were all dogs that lived with them. “
Right now, more Chihuahuas are popping up every day and it’s an overwhelming situation for the area authorities.
“We got a call this morning that at least 8-10 were down at the state line,” Simpson said. “It was actually a postwoman she found near a Rapid Roberts. We have six between her and me. We have 27 here now (at the animal control facility) and we are going to need people to help clean up and care for these animals. We have other animals here too so this just adds more work. We could just use people to walk dogs. If you prefer to donate, we can use dog food and puppy pads. “
Simpson said that overall, most dogs are fine.
“They were healthy except they were covered with ticks, but that may be because we didn’t walk for how long,” she said.
The dogs are promoted through area rescues and humane societies and adopted when ready.
“So the plan is that we already have rescue workers taking them in, and many of them are local like Rescue One and HFLCS, For the Love of Canines and Shepherd of the Hills,” Simpson said. “We got some out of the area too, as the St. Louis Rescue agreed to take some. We are not going to adopt them here because they have socialization work that needs to be done with them. None of them appear to be house trained in any way. But when they go out, we’ll post (on Taney County Animal Control’s Facebook) what salvation she has. “
Simpson pointed out the dogs will be in a stray hold for 7-10 days before going out and Branson police are investigating the matter with a possible animal neglect charge.
“The hard part will be tying these dogs all together, and that might be why they were all put in separate areas,” Simpson said.
The volunteers only do their best to give a courageous face to a sad situation.
“I encourage everyone to adopt,” said Kleypas. “If you can have a Chihuahua, you might as well have two!”
“It’s just totally ridiculous that someone should be so cruel to poor defenseless animals,” said Taylor. “Let’s find a good home for them.”
Once again, you can check the Taney County Animal Control Facebook page for updates on which rescue or welfare society the dogs are being sent to, but it will be at least a week before the Chihuahuas at the animal control facility are eligible for foster care or adoption come.
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