PACIFIC JUNCTION - The Loess Hills Humane Society is continuing to care for more than two dozen dogs that were rescued from a property in rural Pacific Junction on April 29.
A total of 27 dogs were taken from 62172 195th St. after investigators from the Loess Hills Humane Society and Mills County Sheriff’s Office determined the dogs were suffering from neglect. The dogs were pit bulls, pit bull mix and similar breeds.
Kelly Nutter, shelter manager for the Loess Hills Humane Society and Mills County animal control officer, said nearly all of the dogs were being restrained on the property by heavy duty chains hooked to an axle buried into the ground. The dogs were emaciated and sickly in appearance.
“They were suffering from malnourishment,” Nutter said.
An examination and assessment of each dog was conducted by Dr. Dale Gillet, Loess Hills Humane Society veterinarian.
“When the animals were brought to LHHS, the dogs actually lapped up their own urine because of their thirst from being denied adequate water,” Dr. Gillet said in his written assessment. “Approximately two-thirds of the dogs were emaciated or severely malnourished.
“All of the dogs, with the exception of the three puppies, showed evidence of bite wounds, tearing of the outside ear flaps and scars and abrasions on their heads.”
Many of the dogs are suffering from infections and many have missing teeth or teeth that had been filed down, Gillet said.
Two of the dogs, suffering from pneumonia, were euthanized, Dr. Gillet said.
“Most of the dogs are young, but they look like they’re 10 years old,” he said.
The LHHS shelter, which opened last summer, has the capacity to house more than 40 dogs, but taking in the pit bulls has put a strain on the facility, which is staffed by three employees.
“It costs us about $500 a day to take care of these dogs,” Nutter said. “According to the state code, there’s a process to go through, so we could be holding the dogs up to 30 days.”
Nutter said she and her staff are grateful for donations of blankets, food, toys and cash the shelter has received since news of the dogs’ condition was released last week, but the need for assistance will remain as long as the dogs are housed in the shelter.
The overall condition of the remaining 25 dogs is improving on a daily basis.
“The dogs are improving, but we’re still addressing their health issues,” Nutter said.
Mills County Sheriff Eugene Goos said the dogs are believed to be owned by Michael Simet of Omaha. Goos said Simet has contacted the Loess Hills Humane Society to inquire about the status of the dogs. Goos said the residence where the dogs were being kept is believed to be unoccupied.
No criminal charges have been filed, Goos said, but the investigation into the case is continuing.