Updated Thu, Apr 19, 2012 4:09 pm
Nearly all 51 dogs that were removed from a Belpre residence last week due to poor living conditions have been placed into foster homes and are awaiting adoption.
Washington County Dog Warden Kelly Schubert said there are now only 15 dogs housed at the Washington County Fairgrounds, where the animals were taken Friday after being confiscated from Richard and Carol Lancaster's residence on Way Road.
Two dogs died, after testing positive for parvovirus, and the remaining 15 are awaiting medical screenings.
Schubert said she responded to the Lancaster residence on April 13 to investigate a neighbor's complaint that the dogs were attacking their cattle. Upon arriving, she recognized that the animals were living in poor conditions, and that the situation was severe.
"The dogs were being fed, but not wholesome food. The water they were drinking from was contaminated. There were tadpoles living in their water bowls," said Schubert. "The dogs were also drinking from sewage draining puddles behind a trailer."
No charges were filed against the Lancaster's, as Schubert said there was no malicious intent.
"They weren't being cruel to them. They weren't abusing them. They did love their dogs," said Schubert. "They just couldn't take care of them. There were too many. I guarantee the dogs ate before they did."
Schubert said the Lancaster's signed an agreement to surrender all but three of their animals, under the condition that the three dogs would be spayed or neutered within 30 days.
"Animal hording is a disorder. It's a problem. If you work with them, you'll have a better result. We worked with them so they wouldn't have their whole lives taken from them," she said.
Schubert said that she is pleased with the outcome of the situation.
"I don't think Richard or Carol are bad people. They are good people, loving people," she said. "Working with them has been quite humbling to see the changes they have made in their lives.