All but six of the dogs seized from a San Juan Ridge man alleged to be a dog hoarder have been adopted, according to Cheryl Wicks at Sammie’s Friends animal shelter. The remaining animals cannot be re-homed until local courts sort out the case against their owner, Gary Perkins.
Perkins reportedly has asked to get some of his dogs back. Four of them have been assigned to foster families on a temporary basis, but two are still stuck in the shelter for now.
“Being arrested and having charges against you doesn’t equal conviction,” Wicks said.
“So those six dogs, we have to hang onto them until the courts make a decision,” she added. “We could place those dogs in a heartbeat if he let us.”
All the other animals seized from Perkins have found a home.
Wicks says they were timid at first and hungry, but there were no aggression issues. After a few days, they turned out to be friendly — and easy to place.
But there were problems. Parasites were an issue. Every single dog had a serious tapeworm infestation, and at least 10 also had to be treated for heartworm.
One puppy had giardia, another had kennel cough, and a third had one swollen eye. Several of the animals had strange lumps or tumors, most of which went away after being treated with antibiotics. All of them had to be spayed or neutered.
Wicks estimates the total cost of treatment to be in excess of $12,000.
Sammie’s Friends raises money through grant writing and donations — but despite the significant costs involved in cases like this, they have more fundraising success with stories that involve a single animal.
“We tend to get the most donations when we focus on one dog with a problem. When it’s a conglomeration, we get some donations but not much money,” Wicks said. “With what the county pays us, we would’ve had to put them all down.”
A total of 31 dogs were seized when animal control officers raided the Bear Trap Springs Road property where Perkins was reportedly squatting — not including five dogs that were found dead at the scene.
One dog was pregnant with a litter of 11 puppies. One of the puppies was stillborn, driving the total to number of live dogs involved in this case to 41.
At the time of Perkins’ arrest, county officials told The Union that his animals had no access to food or water. They were emaciated and described by animal control officers as “very skinny.”
“Their feces was like dirt,” said Melise Munroe, founder of Pound Puppies Animal Foster. “There were signs of berries and stuff like that. I’ve never seen that kind of stuff in a puppy’s feces before. They were basically eating dirt to survive, and that’s just inexcusable.
“I hope the dogs don’t have to go back to him,” Munroe continued. “He has no home and no money, so how’s he going to care for them? It’s not fair for the animals.”
Contact Staff Writer Dave Brooksher at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 530-477-4230.