LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) — A litter of puppies is recovering after an alert neighbor stepped up and did the right thing, phoning in a tip to police before it got any worse.
Rescuers and authorities hope it’s a warning to all pet owners in a similar place.
Animal rescuer Karen Salvaterra got the call Wednesday night. She is the founder of Pleasant Springs Farm Animal Rescue and a board member of the Lawrence County Humane Society.
County Constable Daniel Castle, as well as sheriff’s deputies, responded to a home near Martha on state Route 1715. They found six hound mixes in bad shape Wednesday, just skin and bones. The mother was in better shape.
“It never gets easy,” Salvaterra said. “No matter how many times, you don’t understand it. There’s no reason for this.”
But Castle said the starvation wasn’t intentional. It was a single mom with small kids and a broken-down vehicle, just running out of options.
He said the situation is happening more and more, thanks to low temperatures and high bills.
“We do get more phone call during the winter months than any time of year,” Castle said.
Authorities credit an alert neighbor for phoning in a tip, alerting them to the situation.
But even better is someone in need calling in the problem themselves.
“I’m not looking to get anyone in trouble in that situation,” Castle said. “I’m looking to rectify that situation. How can we help with these puppies?”
Salvaterra said the problem is only getting worse. In fact, she tells us she’s saved 33 animals in the first three days of 2019 — almost a dozen a day.
Among the reasons, a drug epidemic draining money that could have been used on necessities like dog food.
Salvaterra said the situation is not unique. But these pups are friendly and affectionate.
“They cared for these dogs,” she said. “This is why we do what we do because I know these puppies will have the best of everything.”
Castle said it’s prevalent but preventable. He and Salvaterra said it’s important to spay and neuter pets, something that will be done for all the dogs involved in this case.
When Salvaterra went to collect the litter Wednesday, she was unable to find three of the puppies. We’re told the owner had a friend drop off food Tuesday night.
Salvaterra plans to take all the puppies to Camp Jean, an animal rescue near Lexington which specializes in the most needy animals.