According to Mary Davis, of the Adams County Dog Pound, the sewage lines backed up on Saturday, and they began moving dogs out of the facility to other locations after the problem escalated on Sunday. Dogs were taken as far as Batavia, and some were even brought to Sierra's Haven and Shawnee Animal Clinic in Scioto County.
Davis said three dogs have died in the incident, and there are still about 40 dogs remaining at the pound, as they frantically search for places to send them. Dogs which cannot be placed will need to be euthanized, she said.
“Portsmouth has been wonderful through all of this,” Davis said. “People heard it on the radio (Wednesday) and we were getting so many calls before we even left to bring the dogs to Sierra's Haven that we couldn't answer them all.”
Davis said people were calling, offering to temporarily foster care for the dogs while the situation was contained.
“I'd rather people would adopt, but whatever it takes to get these dogs out of these deplorable conditions,” she said.
One woman met Davis at the clinic on Wednesday to take one of the dogs, but then called back on Thursday to say that the dog had become very sick. She said the dog would need to be taken to Shawnee Animal Clinic.
“They looked pretty bad. They were really cold and dirty, and a lot of them were pretty sad and stressed out,” said Dr. Gail Counts, of Shawnee Animal Clinic, of the animals' conditions. “A few of them are still not eating well, but they're doing a lot better today.”
Counts said they had taken in four dogs, while Sierra's Haven had taken five. Some will go to foster homes today, while others will stay at the clinic until Adams County can take them back.
Animals not placed will need to be put to sleep by gas, because there's no one available with the training or authority to perform a lethal injection, Davis said, adding that as many as 10 dogs could be put to sleep today.
Anyone interested in adopting a pet, or offering foster care for pets stranded from Adams County, can call either Adams County Dog Pound at (937) 544-2431, Shawnee Animal Clinic at (740) 353-5758, or Sierra's Haven at (740) 353-5100.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235.