BIENVILLE, La. -- The Humane Society of Louisiana is crediting a newly-formed humane society with saving the lives of five dogs and a puppy that had been abandoned in a home in the village of Bienville.
Kevin Martin contacted the humane society last week to tell them his brother, Stephen, had been incarcerated for several days and no one had checked on his dogs. Martin said that the dogs were too aggressive for anyone to enter the house and leave them food or water.
Bienville inmate records show that deputies arrested Stephen Martin on April 2 for driving under the influence. He remains incarcerated at the Bienville Parish Jail.
The Humane Society contacted Brittany Toms, who recently formed a humane group in the area called Lengthy Paws, and asked if they could help. She said they would.
On April 5, Toms and her brother Ronald went to the residence and were able to get in. The dogs were skittish but more hungry and scared than aggressive.
They also discovered that another dog was tied to a tree deep in the woods behind the house. He had wrapped himself around the tree and could barely move, but he was too aggressive to untangle. They left food and water.
Toms also noticed a tiny white puppy curled up in the living room the was semi-conscious. She appeared to be dehydrated, starving, and too weak to move.
They bundled her up and took her to a vet clinic. Veterinarians found that she was suffering from a parasitic infection, malnutrition, dehydration, soft tissue infection and coccidia. The puppy was dewormed and sent home with pain meds and antibiotics. She is also vision and hearing impaired but is expected to make a full recovery.
Toms and her brother knew that if the other dogs were going to survive, they would have to remove them as well. They conferred with HSLA and developed a plan.
Toms contacted the Jonesboro Veterinary Clinic to enlist their help in removing the dogs and keeping them somewhere before the Humane Society could retrieve them. On two other occasions late last year, the same clinic helped the Bienville Sheriff’s Office remove multiple dogs (and two snakes) from two separate homes. The owners had abandoned them as well.
Dr. Kasey Johnson, the clinic director, agreed to help again.
Toms and her brother enlisted the help of two other members, Anna Duck and Kelsey Brown. They met Johnson on the scene, and they coaxed three dogs out of the house, caught two more that escaped, and sedated and removed the dog chained to the tree.
They transported the five dogs to the Jonesboro Clinic, where they are receiving treatment and remain boarded.
HSLA has agreed to pay all costs associated with the rescue of these dogs and the puppy whom Ronald named Miracle. They named the other dogs Moose, Little Bean, Crunch, Daphne and Velma.
“We are extremely grateful to Brittany, Ronald, Kelsey, Anna, Dr. Johnson, and her staff for making this rescue happen,” HSLA Director Jeff Dorson said. “Without their intervention, all the dogs and Miracle would likely have perished. Since this rescue operation is not without its costs, I also invited people from the Bienville area to donate a modest amount towards the dogs’ care.”
Bienville Parish, like more than a dozen other rural parishes, does not operate an animal shelter nor has personnel who can respond to these types of calls for assistance. HSLA is hoping the Legislature during this year’s session will allocate some funds to establish more public shelters, especially in the northern parts of Louisiana.
Those wishing to donate to the animals' care can contribute online on the Humane Society’s website at www.humanela.org or by sending them a check or money order to HSLA, P.O. Box 740321, New Orleans, La. 70174. All donations are tax-deductible.
Established in 1988, the Humane Society of Louisiana is one of the largest animal protection organizations in the state and operates the Enoch J. Donaldson Animal Sanctuary. For more information, please visit its website at www.humanela.org.