The Humane Society of Richland County and the Humane Society of the United States were on the scene to take the dogs in after the dogs’ elderly owner, local breeder Edith Buchko, surrendered custody before entering a hospice facility.
According to the Mentor Patch, Buchko’s son came to Ohio from his home in New Jersey to try to care for his mother’s dogs, but found the job too much for one person to take on, so he filed a report with the Humane Society of Richland County.
“It’s a pretty tough situation in there,” HSUS field responder Jenn Kulina-Lanese told Fox News 8 during the rescue operation. “I think it’s hard for volunteers and staff members to see animals in this kind of situation.”
The dogs were found living in small, stacked wire cages, covered in their waste and likely without access to food or water since the owner had entered the hospice care facility. Many of the dogs were suffering from untreated ailments, eye injuries, skin infections, fleas, and parasites.
“[There are] Chihuahuas, three or four to a cage, and we’re trying our best to get them cleaned up and out of this situation as fast as possible. Right now we’re trying to alleviate immediate suffering,” Kulina-Lanese said.
Rescue groups RedRover and Marilyn’s Voice are just two of the many organizations that are currently housing and caring for the rescued dogs. As of Sunday evening, all but a handful of Chihuahuas and Shar-Peis have been placed with Ohio-based rescues.
The Mentor Patch reports that Edith Buchko will not face charges for the conditions at her Ohio-based kennel because of her failing health.
Despite this, Edith Buchko was able to obtain a license to breed dogs in Ohio.
“Ohio is one of a minority of states in the country that does not require commercial dog breeders to be inspected by the state, or adhere to any standards of care,” explains HSUS Ohio State Director Karen Minton. “This has made the Buckeye state a convenient location for some of the worst puppy mill operators in the country, including this one.”