Dogs saved from hoarding situation – a second chance

On July 13, the Humane Educational Society (HES), an open-admission shelter in Chattanooga, Tennessee, learned about the seizure of multiple dogs from a suspected hoarding situation in Redfield, Arkansas. The seizure involved 46 dogs who were being forced to live in conditions which have been described as “deplorable.” According to a press release from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the dogs were removed on June 29 after a search and seizure warrant was obtained by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Though HES does not budget for high intake cases, and though the county does not provide them with funds for out of area rescues, they agreed to take on dogs from the Arkansas seizure. Bob Citrullo, Executive Director of the Humane Educational Society, explained:

The Humane Educational Society is an Emergency Placement Partner for HSUS. Simply said, if they are asked to come into a part of the country near us, they will ask for assistance with placing animals from a hoarding case such as this one. We are very happy to assist, even when our census is high, we will do everything we can to assist, as I know it’s the right thing to do to help make sure these animals get the second chance they so deserve at a loving home and safe environment.

A total of 11 dogs were taken in by HES – according to WRCB News, many of the dogs removed from the property were sick and unsocialized. Citrullo explained how these special needs dogs are being handled:

All dogs have been settled into their new environment. We have handled all the dogs and they received their initial exam. We move slowly and work on building trust. No invasive procedures at first such as blood draws as we want to build trust and not create a setback. Staff and volunteers are already taking them outside getting them use to walking on a leash and on grass.

In the coming weeks, staff and volunteers will continue to work with the dogs to help build their trust and confidence – the end goal is to ready the dogs for adoption. When asked about the timeline for potential adoption of the dogs, Citrullo responded:

A few are very social. Some of the dogs that have made significant progress to date may be available as early as two to three weeks, depending if they are not heartworm positive. Half of these dogs are heartworm positive which means first we need to clear up other medical issues, gain some weight, and then treat them for heartworm before they would be available. Cases like this can take a few months to complete.


Without special funding to help care for these dogs, HES is relying heavily on support from donations. Anyone interested in helping to support HES as they work to rehabilitate these unfortunate hoarding victims can do so at this link to the shelter’s website.

Click here to watch a video which shows the pitiful conditions these dogs were forced to live in.



Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.