(Please note update below)
The Highlands County Animal Control in Sebring, Florida, has recently released ten dogs who were confiscated during a cruelty case. The Facebook post simply states that “These 10 dogs have all been exposed to hog hunting.”
Hog hunters often use dogs to help them track and corner wild hogs. It’s very dangerous for the dogs, who are often injured or gored by the hogs. Many hunters have multiple dogs that they keep in cages until they take them hunting. For example, these ten dogs were confiscated together. They were not family pets. Some are very emaciated. Four of the ten dogs are heartworm positive and will need treatment.
The sad truth is that unless these dogs are adopted or pulled by rescue before Friday, they will be euthanized at the animal control. These ten dogs are just a tiny fraction of the “throw-away” dogs who end up in shelters every day.
They will lose their lives because someone wanted to use them as a hunting tool. Just like a gun or a rifle, these dogs were kept stored in cages for when they were needed. But unlike a rifle or gun, the dogs are easily and cheaply replaced when sick or killed. There are too many “free to good home” litters of puppies available everywhere. Many dog owners don’t bother with medications like heartworm preventative or veterinary visits because they consider it a waste of time.
Lilly is a three to five year old girl whose head hangs low but whose tail wags gently. She’s hoping for a soft caress or kind word. She hasn’t had many of those in her life. She is ID#47064. Lilly is heartworm positive. She is in pen G22. There is more information about how to save Lily on her Facebook thread.
Smiley is emaciated, with ears that look long and silky. She looks at the camera as if she’s wondering where the picture might take her. She has big gentle brown eyes. Smiley is ID #47057. This young dog (between two and five years old) is heartworm positive. She is under fifty pounds and in pen G20. Smiley’s Facebook thread may have more information.
Peanut is also emaciated and looks like she bears scarring from the hog hunting. While she may have been exposed to cruelty, the volunteers hope that her future will be filled with kindness. Peanut is young — maybe only one year old — and she has beautiful blue eyes. She is ID#47063 Peanut does not have heartworm disease. She is only 33 pounds. You can find her in pen G19. There is more information on how to save her on her Facebook thread.
Major looks like he has been to war. He needs a place to recuperate and heal from his sad past. He’s a hound dog, so he should be happily chasing rabbits and squirrels around a yard. Major is ID#47062 . He is heartworm positive. You can find him in pen G16. There is more information about how to save Major on his Facebook thread.
Girl and Zeek look like typical hound puppies. They may not have suffered from as much cruelty as the others. They appear to be happy in their picture; their tails are wagging, and their eyes are bright. These two puppies are around seven months old and under thirty pounds. Both are currently heartworm negative. They can be seen in pen G21. Zeek is ID#47060 and Girl is ID#47061. There is more information on how to save them on their Facebook thread.
Hogdog is ID#47055. He is between three and six years old. He is in pen G23. More information is on his Facebook thread. Cooper is ID#47059. He is between three and five years old. He is in pen G25. More information is on his Facebook thread. Clyde is just a one-year-old dog. He is ID#47056. Clyde can be found in pen A15. There is more information on his Facebook thread.
Buster has two strikes against him. He is heartworm positive and he has only three legs. Buster is between four and seven years old. He is emaciated and appears to have scarring on his body. Did he lose his leg while hog hunting? He is ID##47058. He is in pen G26. More information may be on his Facebook thread.
The Facebook page run by volunteers states that if you can help these dogs, email Sebringflurgents@gmail.com or send a private message to the Sebring Urgents Facebook page. There is information about fees on the Facebook page. 501(c)3 groups can pull dogs for free.
The volunteers ask that if you are interested in rescuing a dog to please make sure that there is a confirmed plan in place before calling to have the dog pulled from animal control. The volunteers work hard to pull dogs, transport them to either a veterinarian, boarding facility or the airport. Sometimes dogs end up returning to the shelter when plans fall through.
The volunteers also stress that by pledging for these dogs on their Facebook pages, rescues that don’t have a lot of money can get help to defray the costs of rescuing more dogs.
If you are not in the Florida area but are looking for a companion, visit your local shelter. They will have dogs who are in just as much need as these ten. Guaranteed.
Update: As of Friday, September 23 (the last day for these ten dogs), animal control emailed the volunteer page the following, “”Due to the fact everyone worked so hard and we were able to get 7 of the 10 cruelty case dogs and all the Monday deadline dogs out, we are able to extend Smiley, Lilly and Major until Monday 9/26 at 3:30pm. We only have 5 open pens right now for the weekend.”
So, still urgently needing homes — but given an extension — are Lilly, Major and Smiley. All three are heartworm positive. Please consider visiting their Facebook thread and pledging for their heartworm treatment. That would help rescues interested in pulling them but who can’t afford the medical treatment.