By Corrie Kaufman Rose
An extraordinary animal hoarding case made the headlines in Northern California a couple of months ago. Hundreds of animals, including dogs, cats, alpacas, horses, and birds were all kept in deplorable conditions for years. The dogs were caged in stacks of crates in an abandoned house. After a multi-year legal process, animal control authorities were able to remove the animals from the property.
More than 150 dogs were taken to local shelters around Sacramento, CA. Remarkably, dozens of the dogs were Boston Terriers. The Sacramento ASPCA was so full from the extra animals that they reached out to Bay Area dog rescue organizations for help.
Capacity at the shelters wasn’t the only problem. The dogs from the hoarding case would need emotional, behavioral, and medical rehabilitation before they could be adopted. This is where Wonder Dog Rescue (WDR) entered the scene. The shelter contacted WDR and asked if we could take 13 of the Bostons. Of course, we said “Yes!” We knew our dedicated network of foster families, decades of experience with rehabilitation, and a history rooted in saving neglected Boston Terriers, was ideal for these pups.
And so, in the middle of June, a team of WDR volunteers (including myself) drove out to Sacramento to pick up 13 Boston Terriers who were in need of some serious TLC.
We didn’t know much at all about the dogs except that they had been primarily housed in crates for most of their lives. We weren’t sure how fearful or emotionally shut down they might be. Our anticipation built up as we waited outside for the shelter staff to bring the dogs out to us.
And then the dogs started coming out. A parade of shelter staff carried out one Boston Terrier after another. The dogs looked apprehensive, but curious. A good sign. Then the staff began handing them over to us and that’s when the non-stop smiling began. The dogs were nervous, but friendly and sweet as can be. They clung to us, and jumped on us, and searched our faces for reassurance. We petted them and talked to them while we got them settled in their crates. It was overwhelming to see all of those curious little faces peering out at us.