By Linda Cicoira
“Ninety dogs and three new born kittens” were rescued in the last couple of days from what is being called a “hoarding situation” at a home on the Eastern Shore.
Robin Bailey Von Hollen, of Dog’s Deserve Better Eastern Shore VA, reported on Facebook that she first visited the property about a week and a half ago after learning of the circumstances.
“Cases like this are never as cut and dry as you think,” she said. “We were not allowed inside. The owner agreed to give us a few mamas with newborn babies and a mama that was expecting … by the noise coming from the house, I knew it was more than we could handle alone. I knew the numbers were going to be large.” She reached out to another local rescuer who had experience in cases of this magnitude.
“Let me tell you, nothing prepared me for what we saw when I made my first step inside the house Friday,” she continued. “It was beyond anything I could imagine. Layers and layers of inches of” feces and urine “on the floor so thick that a shovel would not be able to get it up. It was caked on the walls, furniture, you name it, it was on it. Everything from floor to ceiling … The dogs did not have one clean dry place to stand or lay.”
Hollen said the dogs’ “nails so long, they curled. The smell so strong, you could not allow yourself to breathe through your nose … The smell and filth would take you to your knees gagging. The fear of not understanding in the dogs’ eyes was heart crushing,” she added.
“Everyone pushed forward,” Hollen continued. “There were pep talks, tears, hugs, heavy hearts, and a few cross words. We got out all we could for now. We are on stand-by waiting to hear when we can go get the rest. We are expecting that to be in within the next couple weeks.”
“We were able to pool resources,” she said of herself and other rescuers and organizations. By Saturday, we had a force of volunteers, shelters and rescues in waiting to help with what needed to be done and in waiting to take in some of these precious scared souls.” She thanked a slew of animal rescuers from the Shore, Virginia Beach, Arlington, and in between.
“There where so many heroes there yesterday,” she said. “I am proud to call them all my friends. We will have a bond for life.”
Donations are needed to further help the cause.
Virginia Beach SPCA took 45 dogs into its shelter. “They are scared, dirty, and covered in fleas,” a worker wrote on that agency’s page. “These dogs have never been outside of that house before now. We need your help. The majority of these dogs will remain in the care of the Virginia Beach SPCA, while the rest will go to other rescue organizations in the region. They are currently getting settled at our shelter where they can be bathed and seen by our veterinarians.” That agency is also in need of donations.
It was unclear from he posts where on the Shore the hoarding occurred.