GARRARD COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The sound of barking carries on outside the Garrard County Animal Shelter with each animal looking for a home, and for some of the older ones the clock is ticking.
"We're extremely overwhelmed," explained Earlene Harris, "We save 90-plus percent of all of our dogs here."
At that rate, the shelter doesn't like to use the word, "euthanize," but today they had to put down five dogs. They say it's a very grim reality of their situation.
"I don't think I've ever had to put five dogs down in one day," Harris said, "and we will have to put down more tomorrow if we don't get some help."
As if the overcrowding issue wasn't enough, the Garrard County Animal Shelter took in 15 neglected dogs on Wednesday, stretching their resources even thinner.
"Yesterday we took an anonymous phone call about some dogs that were being neglected and were suffering," Harris said that the dogs definitely needed to be rescued.
So now she's pursuing any option available, "I'm putting dogs in every room we have right now to try and get us through today."
The rescuers say all 15 dogs are hunting type dogs and they all came from one home in the southern part of the county.
"Some of the dogs are so skinny and act like they haven't had food. You can count every rib, you can see the ridge in their back, their nails are so overgrown they can't put their feet flat, or their pads are very swollen," described Harris.
The owner offered an excuse to the rescuers, but Harris isn't buying it. Harris said the person at the home said they just took in many of the dogs and they came in that shape. However, Harris said they were all apparently dehydrated with what appeared to be rain water in their bowls. She said some were kept in kennels, others in makeshift containers, and two dogs were kept with goats. Some of the dogs were healthier looking than others, but the policy is if one dog is seized, they all must be seized.
"I got a call from someone who may be an owner of one of these dogs and he said the dogs look in this condition because they've been running them too much. This is not what I would consider normal for even dogs that are running," she emphasized, "if you're going to own a dog there's no reason to have them in this shape."
The dogs will get some much needed attention and charges will be filed on Thursday. The newly seized dogs must be kept until the case is closed in court. As for the rest of the dogs at the shelter, they must be adopted or the shelter will have to face some very difficult decisions.
If you'd like to help the shelter, they're asking for dog food, cleaning supplies, and volunteers that can come help bathe and groom the animals. You can reach the shelter at 859-792-1562.