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From Squalor to Serenity

Rescued from a hoarding case, these dogs are now thriving

When the sheriff opened the side door of the squalid ranch house in Mississippi and permitted emergency teams inside, Chunk was one of the first dogs rescue teams saw.

The low-slung dog with the big, worried eyes and patchy fur was in the first room, watching nervously as rescuers entered one by one. Wearing respirators to protect themselves from ammonia fumes, rescuers from The HSUS, the Mississippi Animal Rescue League, and United Animal Nations stepped cautiously into the trash- and feces-filled house, going room to room to assess how many animals would need to be removed.

The teams gathered the squeaking puppies who sat in a pen under the red glow of a heating lamp, and lured out the timid dogs who darted through shadows and peered from under the bed. Meanwhile, Chunk paced back and forth, his raw and hairless paws squishing into a floor covered with poop, empty cans, and flattened bags of dog food and Wonder bread.

Local authorities had estimated that the woman running Raven’s Hope Animal Sanctuary had about 70 animals on her property. But by the end of that grueling, rainy day in March 2010, rescuers had pulled nearly 200 dogs out of muddy, algae- and feces-laden pens around the property.

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