By MARGIE NETZEL - For the Star Beacon
KINGSVILLE TOWNSHIP —
Tammy Dondorfer was shaking her head over a large spreadsheet when the call came in.
“I was looking at the population of the animal shelter and I realized we had 90 dogs — that’s 10 more than we are supposed to have at any given time,” she said.
But Dondorfer, who serves as the Ashtabula County Animal Protective League’s animal advocate, was about to get another surprise. The shelter accepted 23 yorkie/poodle mix dogs on Thursday, the result of a possible breeding or hoarding situation.
“There was a woman in Dorset who owned these 23 dogs and she had passed away,” Dondorfer said. “Her daughter simply could not keep the dogs and had no other way to find them good care and good homes, so she called us.”
Dondorfer said the dogs are of all ages and seem to be well fed, though in need of basic veterinary care, such as vaccinations and spay/neuter.
“At this point, just with a cursory, initial glance at each dog, they look pretty healthy,” she said. “The animals were loved, but it seems the situation, whether it was a breeding situation, an accidental litter of pups that kept breeding or a hoarding situation, just got out of hand for the owner. Maybe she didn’t know what to do.”
The shelter has been assisted by two dog rescue organizations, including Marilyn’s Voice of Lake County. The rescue shelters have taken several of the dogs to help alleviate the APL’s population struggle. Dondorfer said that even with recent adoption specials and promotions, more dogs are coming in than going out. The shelter even had to reach out to the public for donations of dog and cat food.
“We get anywhere from five to 10 dogs in each day,” she said. “One day last week we had 13 intakes. We are struggling.”
Regardless of the hardship, Dondorfer said she is glad the dog owner’s daughter took the right steps to fix her inherited problem.
“People will just get on Craigslist or post a sign in the front yard for free dogs, but that doesn’t stop the problem,” she said. “The right thing to do is to spay or neuter all of these animals and stop the cycle of breeding. She did the right thing for these dogs. She did the responsible thing.”
Donations are being collected to help pay for the care and surgeries for the 23 dogs. Monetary donations can be made via PayPal at www.acapl.org. Donations of Purina brand dry dog and cat food and any brand canned dog and cat food can be made at the shelter on Green Road.