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Muscatine Humane Society says dog owner felt ‘overwhelmed’; handed them through window

Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 6:34 PM CST
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MUSCATINE, Iowa (KWQC) - On Feb. 10 an anonymous tip led Muscatine police and Animal Control to a mobile home full of dogs. It was a situation that required the Muscatine Humane Society’s help.

“They were overwhelmed, so they called me and I took staff and vehicles,” Chris McGinnis, director of the shelter, said.

Due to the barking coming from inside the home, officers guessed there would be around 20 dogs. They soon found there were 42.

“The actual owner of the property handed the dogs to me one-by-one out the window of the trailer,” McGinnis said.

All the dogs were suffering from health problems, the worst condition being the flea infestation that McGinnis said took away patches of their hair that “may never grow back.” The dogs also had worm problems causing diarrhea.

“Every dog was extremely underweight,” McGinnis said. “The nails weren’t clipped, they were one and a half to two inches long.”

The dogs ranged from newborn to 15-years-old. McGinnis believes the ones under age 15, who do not suffer from deafness or blindness, will be saved.

It’s a situation from the outside that looks shocking and cruel, but McGinnis said it comes from a place of mental distress.

“Normally it’s a person who started out being an animal lover, then somewhere something went haywire and they got overwhelmed and they collected animals,” she said.

This is not McGinnis’ first time conducting a large animal rescue operation, nor is it her worst experience.

”We did a rescue in 2004 of 91 dogs,” she said. “Those 91 dogs also produced 21 puppies while we had them [at the shelter.]”

The 42 dogs are currently in isolation and unable to be visited by the public while they undergo medical care. McGinnis said it will be a while before they are up for adoption.

The shelter says for now, monetary donations and the donation of outdoor wire exercise pens would be helpful to get the dogs set up and back into health.

“It will be work but it will be a gratifying experience,” she said.

The dogs, which are in the care of the shelter, have yet to be legally surrendered from the owner. The shelter says a disposition in court is pending.

TV6 reached out to the Muscatine Sheriff’s office about the status of the case and have not heard back about any pending charges.

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