The Depths of Depravity

holeCollectively, we’ve got decades of experience in rescue at Pets Alive – we’re pretty thick skinned. It takes a lot to rattle us. We’ve unfortunately dealt with debilitating neglect and circumstances horrible beyond measure for companion animals. We’d thought we’d seen it all… and then we saw this hole.

It started with a phone call from a Deputy Sheriff here in Orange County, NY on Monday night. He’d been tasked with serving eviction papers to a tenant in a rural area. These papers were the final result of a three-year legal battle in which the tenant paid no rent. Finally, the landlord had won.

11289686_10153277685681352_588184582_nUpon arrival, the Sheriff immediately noted that there were dozens of sick cats and kittens all over the extensive property. Further inspection revealed two large, white dogs. Old and frightened, they hunkered down in dirty, wet kennels upon his approach. The stench in the house was unbearable, and piles of garbage filled a nearby garage. A third dog, deceased, was nearby. The dog was reduced to bones and fur, laying in the grass with no proper burial. The roof was collapsed and wet. The walls and floor were covered in urine and feces. Cats wove in and out of the mess, hungry and sick, crying for solace. And nearby was the hole.

received_10205817986681412The Sheriff served his papers and called the local animal control officer. He was told that it was “not her problem” and that even if she DID go to the home, all of the animals would be euthanized. This animal control officer did not care about these animals. The Sheriff was disgusted. He called a friend who is an animal lover to ask for advice, and that friend told him to call Pets Alive. That man had adopted his dog from us several years prior and remembered our dedication and our beautiful sanctuary. He knew that the best place for the animals would be with us. He knew they would be cared for, rehabilitated, and kept safe while new homes were found.

We got the Sheriff’s call around 4 pm and knew we had to respond immediately. By 5:30, three Pets Alive staff members and a member of our TNR team were on site at the house. They documented the filthy living conditions and spent hours searching for the cats in the ruined house. They pulled kittens out of cabinets and piles of trash. Our hearts broke as the kittens wheezed and coughed, trying to breathe despite their terrible upper respiratory infections. Some kittens were found laying in standing water, trapped in a cage and weak from fleas.

image15A good samaritan who rents land next door from the same landlord came by and filled us in on the hole. The hole had been dug for the dogs. Since the tenants were being evicted, the plan was for the dogs to be shot in the morning. The hole was meant to be a grave. Had we not responded, those dogs would have been lying in that very hole this morning. There are times when even we are overwhelmed by the cruelty that humans are capable of , and this news shook us to our very foundation. There’s a reason we do this work, and we had just been reminded. By 1 am, 26 cats and both dogs were safe and sound at the sanctuary. This morning, we trapped another 16 cats, bringing the current total rescued to 42. Currently, our team is still onsite trapping.

image9As we work to get the animals safe, we will need your help. 42 cats and 2 elderly dogs will certainly come with cost. 3 cats have ruptured eyes and will need them removed. There are many cats with rotten teeth which will require extensive dentistry. Other cats have damaged paw pads from walking in the urine. All of the animals will need to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped in preparation for their new homes.

Pets Alive exists because of these situations exactly. We exist to save the lives of those who have no other option. Please consider making a gift to Pets Alive to help us care for these animals. You can make your gift reoccurring by checking the monthly sponsorship box. We will apply your donation directly to animal care.

Thank you for helping us save these lives. They all deserve a fresh start.




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17 Responses to The Depths of Depravity

  1. pat says:

    I am sick to read this story. Prayers are with you all as you provide love and care fo r these innocent animals. One question if the neighbor knew what was to have happened with ‘the hole’ did they not call someone and report this person? So sad.

    • Rebekah says:

      Hi pat I was there for this whole entire progress. I board a horse with the neighbor and I am also her family. We knew what the hole was for and trie calling many animal rescues and they either said the animals would be euthanized or they had no room. I have seen the horrors that these animals had to go through. We tried rescuing them before but the people would sneak into the barn and steal them back. When we finally saw the Pets Alive crew we were happy to see them and I gladly told them the information I knew about Molly and Boomer (the dogs) we informed them how I had interacted with them with my cousin before. We also helped Pets Alive trap cats and told them the names of the ones we knew. We wanted very badly for the animals to be rescued and are relieved to know that they are in a safe warm place. We have been active with many shelters for years and are glad to see that good people are caring for these neglected animals now

  2. Judy Tarasek says:

    And what is being done to prosecute the tenants?..or are they going to a mental hospital?

  3. Alice A Smith says:

    This makes me so sick! You brought my precious Rosie to my family from a rescue down south. I hope that this donation can in some way help these animals.

  4. Pets Alive is an incredible Sanctuary with the most wonderful group of people there.
    They truly care about the animals.
    I send my prayers to all that everyone can donate to help them with this terribly sad case.
    Thank god for Pets Alive.

  5. barbara boudot says:

    this is sickening….thank God for this incredible sanctuary

  6. Wendi Sokira says:

    Thank you and God bless you for all the work you do.

  7. Vickie pugliese says:

    Absolutely sickening. My heart is broken at the horrible things these poor babies had to endure because of these monsters! God bless you all for saving them. There is a special place in hell for those pos …

  8. I would like to know what rescue associations refused to help? I do donate and would be sure to never support those guilty again. MLM

    • db says:

      I’m guessing Pets Alive is too classy to name names. The way around that is to donate to those rescues (aka PA) who DO help. The only exception for me are the big organizations who take in millions and only “help” when the camera is running.

  9. Kay says:

    When will the babies be up for adoption, I’d love to provide a safe home. <3

  10. Margo Seeley says:

    What happens to the Animal control person who said”
    it was not her job”

    • Audrey Lodato says:

      An investigation is being conducted by the OC Sheriff’s office. Since it is ongoing, that is all we can say.

  11. Holly says:

    You have a gift coming from Amazon Pantry today, please watch for it. I hope it boosts everyone’s spirits!

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