22 of 51 rescued dogs adopted, shelter says

A group of dogs rescued nearly two weeks ago from a life of hunger, confinement and neglect have been placed in loving homes this week through the efforts of the Association for Needy and Neglected Animals in Erie.

Through adoption events at Pet Smart in Erie, A.N.N.A. has found homes for 22 of the 51 dogs that were removed from a Canal Township trailer home on Dec. 10. All of the pregnant females have been placed in foster homes, A.N.N.A. Director Ruth Thompson said Friday.

Several A.N.N.A. personnel said it was the worst case they’d seen, as they removed the dogs from a single-wide trailer, where some were kept in crowded cages and others had injuries and deformities.

The dogs were removed from a Chestnut Grove Road residence, where Barbara and Sam Lopez reside. As of yet, no charges have been filed in the case.

Thompson recently said the shelter has received more than 200 applications from people interested in adopting the dogs.

On Friday, she said adoption sometimes requires a selection process if multiple people are interested in the same dog.

“We never do first-come-first-serve, because the first person to look at the dog may not be the best person or the best home for them,” Thompson said. “We try to match them up with what we think would be the best selection.”

In some cases, she said, it may be the luck of the draw.

“If we have eight puppies and 20 applicants, then we literally do a lottery,” she said.

Thompson reminded those interested in adopting that if the person’s first choice isn’t available, then there are plenty of other dogs that are equally in need of a home.

All 51 dogs have been regaining their health and strength over the past two weeks, including Birdie, a 4-year-old Cocker Spaniel mix who was unable to stand after spending months in a small bird cage.

Birdie is recovering in foster care and can now stand with assistance and take a few steps on her own.

Thompson said four of the dogs are still adjusting to socializing with humans, but that the shelter is a non-kill facility, and the staff will continue to work with those dogs for as long as it takes.

“One day at a time, it’ll get better,” Thompson said.