Authorities Raid Pennsylvania Dog Rescue Operation

DogWarning: This story may disturb some readers.

Animal control officers and police raided a dog rescue operation in Centerville, Pennsylvania.

Officials said they found numerous dead dogs on the property of Calico Creek Critters Rescue. About 24 dead dogs were found, and an estimated 60 dogs were found alive and have been taken from the rescue.

There were dogs roaming outside while others were in cages. Many of the dogs that were alive were ill. One officer said the look in the dogs’ eyes seemed to be a plea to be rescued.

“It was a pretty bad situation. There was feces everywhere, too many animals in pens, and no water available. There was only one pen outside that had food available,” said humane officer Lorie Schooley.

Authorities obtained a search warrant after a complaint from a man who saw the horrible conditions when he went there to adopt a dog.

The Calico Creek Critters Rescue says on their website that they attempt to rescue unwanted dogs. The owner voluntarily gave up all of the dogs to the humane society. Officers said that the owner got in way over her head and couldn’t take care of all the dogs.

The owner had been cited for animal neglect previously in 2006, but the charge was dismissed.

Source: WTAE

18 Responses to “Authorities Raid Pennsylvania Dog Rescue Operation”

  1. Lynn says:

    A pity these people at Calico Creek Critters Rescue didn’t volunteer to work for Bill Smith’s “Main Line Animal Rescue” in Chester Springs, PA, instead. At least they would have learned how to rescue animals and care for them properly.

    When are these out of control rescue folks such as Calico Creek Critters Rescue going to learn? It doesn’t stop once you rescue them……that’s just the beginning!

  2. Sharon says:

    They were cited for neglect in 2006 and the charges were dropped. Whoever dropped those charges has the blood of all those dogs on his hands. To let known neglect continue for years is unconscionable.

  3. Lynne says:

    Sharon, I agree completely.

  4. catmom5 says:

    This isn’t a rescue but a hoarding situation. How do we help the authorities learn the difference? I agree that those who dropped the charges in 2006 dropped the ball and a lot of precious animals have paid the price for their lousy decision. Thank heaven for the man who reported the horrors. I hope that the rest of the animals will recover and find forever homes.

  5. Tanya says:

    Catmom, in very very very many cases “rescue” and “hording” are one and the same. In my work with rescued cats, i frequently see shelters take in “one more animal” than they should, cuase “there are so many out there”. “one more” becomes two more…. then you find that the small rooms designed for 2 cats, really can hold 5 or 6, and you are doing it cause you love them, and no one else wants them…

    then you stop doing outreach, so your pets never get adopted out, they just live in teh cages, but you say “it’s best”.

    In my opinion, anyone who has more than 2 or 3 pets should have to register as a “special case”, and anyone with more than say, 5, should have to register as a “rescue”. anyone who rescues must be trained (in my opinion), and strict guidelines must be maintained on how many animals you can have.

    if you can only house 10, then no matter how cute, how loving, how poor, how anything the 11th animal is, you are NOT allowed to take it.

    I don’t see anything like this happening soon, however.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think I should have to register my five dogs with anyone (other than my dog licenses). It is my right and as long as my dogs are taken care of and not causing any SERIOUS problems, it’s nobody’s business how many I have. I was very tempted recently when some I knew had gotten a puppy and then maybe a month later wanted to get rid of her. I could have taken her in, BUT I know my limits and right now 5 are all I can take care of, right now. Maybe when my kids grow up and leave, I’ll have the resources to care for more, but right now I have all I can handle.

    Just because these idiots (and many more like them) got in over their heads doesn’t mean EVERY dog or cat owner should be punished.

  7. The Lioness says:

    I agree with Tanya, AND I agree with “anonymous.” Lemme ’splain.

    I have 10 cats (9 are mine, 1 is my boyfriend’s.) I have 9 cats, because my ex and I used to rescue. When he and I got together years ago, I had 4–which is where I was most comfortable–and he had 1. Over the years, we rescued the rest. Our intention was to nurse them to good health, spay/neuter them, and then adopt them out. Unfortunately, we got attached. When we got to 10, I said “no more.” (In my case, it had to do with knowing my energy and financial limits.) So, I can see where that may sound/look like a hoarding situation.

    BUT—All of my cats are: sneutered. up to date on their shots. healthy. loved. attended to. comfortable. happy. They have adequate boxes, food, and water. They are on a set routine (unless we are traveling, but even in that case, we have a “travel” routine–it’s just a simplified version of our normal routine.) We know their moods and personalities, and we know when something is wrong. This applies to each and every one of them. Most importantly, we are affording them.

    I do not intend to “keep up my numbers” when they pass on; however, I always keep my eyes and heart open to those who may need a little TLC. I recently had an opportunity for #11, but I resisted. Instead, I put food and water outside for her, I gave her attention outside, and otherwise, I let things be. (I think she had a home or found one, because she was only around a couple fo days.)

    My point is that while (as Tanya says,) the authorities don’t seem to know the difference and aren’t handling the situation properly at all–I completely agree with that–I also agree with Anonymous’ assertion that it’s none of anyone’s business, UNLESS there is blatant law-breaking/cruelty/neglect going on. I do believe that Animal Control has the right to investigate you if someone complains to them. It happened to me once, and the AC officer came in, saw how well my cats are cared for, and simply told me to get rid of my carpet. If he had seen neglect, I would have expected action to be taken.

    I think the key is to have in place GOOD animal control departments and officers. I think AC should be treated like the human police academy, if it’s not already (I’ve never tried to become an ACO, so I don’t know how it works.)

    I also think it should be easier for the community to intervene WHEN IT’S OBVIOUS THE SITUATION IS OUT OF HAND, as in the case of this “rescue.”

    *deep breath* I really have a lot to say on this whole situation. Hoarding is such a sad, sad thing.

    ~The Lioness

  8. Tanya says:

    Annomyous, while it is your “right” to own 5 dogs, there is a point when it’s too much to really provide for them. when cities have laws about how many pets a person can have, it’s to prevent someone from getting in over thier heads.

    I don’t see why it is a bad thing to register your dogs with the state. It says you are a loving owner who understands how easy it is to get out of control. one litter of pups, and maybe a month when you can’t pay for them or you can’t get them vet help and suddenly there is a problem for your loved pets.

    no one means to hoard, they mean to “do well”. but more and more often “well” starts to slip and the animals are not taken care of.

    do you think you are above taking care of your animals? and if you don’t, why do you think it’s wrong for an agent to come out once a year or every other year just to see that all your pets are as you claim, fully cared for?

    The reason teh system lets things “get out of hand” is they have no way of knowing if you are in a multiple pet situation (or more importantly a “rescue” situation) until someone reports you. and by then, it’s far too late.

    I never know what good limits are, 5 dogs? 10 cats? but at some point, people move into areas that the animals deserve to be checked on every year or every other year.

    it would prevent many situations like this rescue.

  9. Tanya says:

    by the way, i’m not saying someone like you or lioness shouldn’t have more than x number of pets, just that if you have “this many” the state says “you are offically a rescue, and we want to make sure you have certian training”. pet first aid, knowledge about nutrition, etc.

  10. catmom5 says:

    Hoarding often is a psychological disorder with hoarders not really understanding that they are not/cannot give the animals the proper care they need.
    I have a real problem with the government setting the limits on the number of pets a household/person can have. I, obviously, live with five cats. I have enough space, time and money to care for these five. Others in a smaller (or larger) space with more/fewer resources could handle a different number. This is not a one size fits all situation. “Reasonable” is relative here. I would love to add more to my family BUT I realize that five is my limit.
    I do believe that rescues, kennels, shelters, etc should be registered/licensed and held to a reasonable standard of care for the animals they are responsible for.

  11. Anonymous says:

    My dogs are registered with my county. Why do I need more than that? If some one claimed that my dogs weren’t taken care of, I’d talk to them (AC or who ever). But I’m not a child who needs my parent (government) to check up on me. If you have a concern with how people treat their pets, then lobby for EDUCATION not pet limit laws. Get everyone on the same page about how animals should be treated (then you can make more accurate laws AND every AC group has the same rules about what constitutes abuse). If more laws are made about numbers and other issues like that then guess what? you make more criminals. Do we really need to criminalize pet ownership?

    BTW if the government has to come in to check on your pets once a year, some one has to pay for the personnel and it’s going to be you and every other pet owner who registers. There will be a lot of people who won’t want to pay an extra fee every year so they won’t register. So they have to raise the price to pay for the program and so forth.

  12. Jenny Bark says:

    I am sorry to hear of another Pa. place. I seen this on my local news you seen in the vedio.

    Sharon, I agree with you, should have been closed in 2006 & babies have died because of it. I hope the ones that made it go to a wonderful home and are not killed in a shelter.

    Catmom5 & Anonymous, I agree with both of you. Hoarding is a sickness & I think education can help but imo we can never stop it. I agree rescue, kennels & shelter (anyone who gets food, vet care or money from other people or tax payers) should have to be licensed & checked. Checked by who is up in the air because all AC (dog catcher) are not always good. Imo some should not be even near animals.

    ABUSE should always be delt with to the full extent of the law.

    Some people should never have a pet, some can’t even take good care of one. Other can take care of a whole farm full. As long as their is no abuse, can feed then. vet them. shelter them, give them plenty of room, love & protect them, leave them alone. People pay a lot of money for their home and way to much in taxes for other people to come in & tell people how to live. We love our babies more than a lot of people. If we can find another one (hope an older one) that we don’t have to co-own we are going to increase our family again. I’ll put the care & life style of our babies up against anyone. This use to be call America. the home of the brave & the free & I would add responable.

  13. mittens says:

    good intentions can often go astray in very ugly ways. certainly there are hoarders out there suffering from a psychological disorder that impairs their judgement and perceptions and gross puppy mills from hell that should be shut down by the government but these are not the same as well meaning persons who get in way over their heads. i’m not sure more governmental supervision is the answer but thankfully the law stepped in in this situation.

    animal rescue is difficult , often heartbreaking ‘ work’- their are sooo many needy animals and all of us individually only have so many resources, so much time and so much room. although it may emotionally be hard to face , as dirty harry says, you have to know your limitations and work within them or you could end up harming when you intended only to help. it’s all to common, i find ,to see Mary Martyr rescuers who won’t ask for or even allow additional aid they really need to serve their charges well. it’s very easy for things to get way out of hand when your judgement is clouded by a naturally emotionally charged reponse to some poor neglected may be euthanized animal but they’ll end up at the kill shelter anyway, it’s best to remember, if the quality of the care you provide dwindles to the level seen in this story.

  14. Jenny Bark says:

    Tanya, “and we want to make sure you have certian training”. pet first aid, knowledge about nutrition, etc.”

    Who is we? Maybe we should be checked on because maybe we don’t agree with your certain training, Your first aid or knowledge about nutrition & etc. I only know one person who is perfect. I know of no human that is perfect. Think about it.

  15. Kristen Sullivan says:

    I live not to far from this shelter(10min) and in the fall of 2006 adopted a dog from these people. Her name was dutchess, and she was a terrier mix. The house smelled horrible,it was so unbarable i made my son wait outside. Lorie would not take my husband and i into the basement, and it was to dark too see much outside. I was thankful to be able to save this dog, and she brought much joy to our home, and became my sons best friend. I am sad to say she has recently passed away. I would not of traded her for any other dog. I’m glad the others will be well taken care of.

  16. Jamie says:

    I also adopted a dog from these “animal lovers”. Cody was filthy and had a severe worm and flea infestation. The conditions then were horrible and unfortunately, my husband knew Lorie’s husband so I didn’t make a complaint. Until I got home and had NO vet records for Cody and she gave me the run around everytime I contacted her about them. I had to get him revaccinated, and she still refused to reimburse me any money. I paid $160 for an adoptin fee, then revaccination charges, and the vet bill to free him of all the parasites. He was also (and still is a year later) very skittish and nervous. You can tell there is some emotional damage from this place still with him. It was then I called the humane society to make a complaint.

    They stated that they had had several complaints about them over the years and unfortunately could not “catch” them doing anything wrong. What I don’t understand, is if you are inspecting the welfare of these animals, why do you have to call and make an appointment? Doesn’t that just invite them to clean up the area and have the dogs presentable? I was in the process of filing a civil suit against her when I heard the news that she was finally shut down. I was devistated, however, to hear that she’s only been found guilty of a few charges and only given a fine. People like that deserve to be left in their own cages to rot! They had mummified puppies in crates in their basement and animal bones in a barn pile in their backyard for crying out loud! How bad do things have to get for animal abusers to receive proper punishments?

  17. LuvJRTs says:

    What ever became of these dogs? I thought there were be a ton of Jack Russell’s for adoption in the area. We kept checking the Washington County Humane Society’s website but never saw anything else. Were the charges dropped? Were the dogs returned?
    So often these horrible stories are reported but there is never any follow up.

  18. Animal Foster Mom says:

    I fostered one of the JRT’s that came from the Calico Creek Critters raid and went to WAHS. I named her Lily of the Valley and I fostered her for around 4 months, after which time, WAHS won the court case against the owner of the “rescue”. (I really don’t know what charges were brought against her, but I do know that WAHS won custody of the animals they had gotten from there.) I was given first chance to adopt her, and I hadn’t planned on it, but my husband sort of fell in love with her, and to this day, she is definitely his dog. She is beautiful and sweet, but very skittish and still cringes/runs away sometimes when anyone walks toward her. She fits right into our pack and has become very stable since living with my dogs and cats. Lily is my first JRT, and sometimes she can be very frustrating, but for the most part, I wouldn’t trade her for the world.


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