Her Casa is Their Casa
Kennel enrichment program makes Indiana shelter dogs happier, more adoptable
When The HSUS’s Animal Rescue Team and local law enforcement raided a Gary, Ind., dogfighting operation last July, they found dogs stashed everywhere.
Some were crated in the kitchen of a trashed house where the occupants had been cooking crack cocaine on the stove. Others languished in feces-laden crates in the basement or outside in the muddy yard. Still others were confined to rusted cages or filthy crates stacked on top of each other inside a decrepit shed, where boarded-up windows blocked out all light.
Outside the back door, the first dog responders saw was Honey, an older pit bull missing a big chunk of her lip. “She was on a heavy logging chain, and she had no food, no water, and was just sitting in basically feces and mud,” recalls Chris Schindler, manager of The HSUS’s animal fighting investigations.
The frightened dog would retreat to her decrepit doghouse, emerging only to bark at her rescuers. But that didn’t last long—in 20 minutes, Schindler was able to gain Honey’s trust, pet her, remove her chain, and carry her off the property. She and 19 other seized dogs were taken to a boarding kennel.
That’s where they met Laurie Adams and other trained volunteers from Indianapolis-based Casa Del Toro Pit Bull Education and Rescue.