As so often happens, the neighbours came to the rescue. They suspected the animals might be in trouble, but the truth was even worse than they thought. The border collie cross, suffering from severe allergies, had lost most of its fur. All three animals were tortured with fleas. The home was filthy and they were left to scavenge for what food they could find in the garbage.
Fortunately, neighbours called the London Humane Society and we sent out an investigation team. They heard the dog barking for attention, but couldn’t enter the residence without a warrant. Instead they left formal written notice that abandoned animals had been discovered on the property and that action would be taken within 24 hours if the owner didn’t respond.
Those 24 hours came and went without contact, though neighbours saw someone enter the house, remove the notice, and leave again without giving the animals food or water. When the deadline passed, investigators obtained an OSPCA search warrant and placed the animals in our care, where we could see the sad reality of their suffering. The border collie cross had fur missing on her back, chest, tail and legs, along with poor body condition, fleas and an ear infection. All three were ravenous when we gave them food.
Eventually the owner contacted us, and was charged and prosecuted for animal cruelty.
The good news is that the dog, re- named Sunny, recovered her fur, strength and trust, and is now living on a farm with a loving owner and many animal companions.
The cats are also safely in forever homes. The bad news is that we see this sort of thing happening more and more in our region. We don’t know how people can abandon animals to fend for themselves, but we do know that we could not have investigated this situation – and perhaps not saved these animals – without generous contributions from our donors.