Houston Lab Rescue – 2000

From the dogstuff.com website, summer of 2000… and don’t worry, it has a happy ending!

Rescuers saw “a sea of black skeletons”

Most of the 82 dogs discovered starving and disease-ridden at a home north of Houston Tuesday are now in the care of Texas rescue groups. The majority appear to be purebred Labrador Retrievers.

Volunteers from several breed rescue clubs around Texas worked late into the night Aug.18th, 2000 and the following morning to transport, bathe, medicate and begin caring for scores of stricken dogs.

National Labrador Rescue Coordinator Luanne Lindsey of Leander, (north of Austin,) said she found herself looking at “a sea of black skeletons” when she first saw the dogs at the Montgomery County shelter Thursday where they had been taken by authorities.

The dogs apparently were the victims of good intentions gone awry, Kelli Copeland, Montgomery County Animal Control field supervisor told reporter Harvey Rice of the Houston Chronicle.

She said the dogs were left unattended after a New Caney woman who had cared for them became ill and was hospitalized. She said no charges will be filed against the woman, who had been taking in homeless Labrador Retrievers since the early 90′s.

“I don’t think this is a blatant case of abuse or neglect,” Copeland told the Chronicle. “She got sick and became overwhelmed. I think her health condition and finances have been going downhill.”

Dozens of volunteers came to central rescue sites near Austin and Houston to begin the difficult task of caring for the emaciated and ailing dogs.

“Moose” – one of the few yellow labs in the rescue.

It will be a long road to recovery and safety for most of the dogs. Volunteers plucked hundreds of ticks, tended dozens of wounds and sores, and began drawing blood for heartworm testing on the stricken dogs.

But even as they stood shakily under caring hands, the affectionate nature of the dogs was apparent.. An emaciated black Lab the rescuers named “Adam,” because he was the first taken into care, crept on spindly legs into the arms of a rescuer Saturday. He seemed little more than skin, bones, sores, scars, hollow eyes and a thumping, wagging Labrador tail.

Tail wagging, “Adam” seeks comfort in a rescuer’s arms

Borrowing from lessons learned during a mass rescue of 50 puppy-mill Golden Retrievers two years ago, the Texas rescuers set up receiving stations where each dog could be individually identified, photographed, treated for wounds, bathed, cleaned of parasites, and given a preliminary evaluation for temperament.

Additional chain-link paneled runs were hastily bolted together beneath spreading trees at Dick and Luanne Lindsey’s boarding and training facility north of Austin. Rescued Labs already in residence barked happily at the skinny new visitors who began arriving Friday night after a 180-mile journey, and at the dozens of volunteers who showed up right behind them Saturday morning to bathe, feed, and care for the new arrivals.

Another group of 20 dogs went by caravan to the home of Doug and Anne McGuire north of Houston, in a cooperative effort by German Shepherd and Golden Retriever rescue groups. Others had been dispersed to additional rescue groups by the overtaxed Montgomery County shelter, and Mrs. Lindsey was working to bring them all under the umbrella of Lab rescue to insure all the animals were safe and accounted for.

How many humans does it take to bathe one lab?
A loving touch during an exam.

As much as they were starved for nourishment, the Labs seemed just as starved for affection and human contact. Mrs. Lindsey said most of the dogs had been confined together in an enclosed paddock without attention before authorities intervened. She believed they fought one another over whatever food they received, since many bore bite and claw marks. Rescuers who were focused on the serious business of assessing needs also stopped continually to hug, stroke and administer delicious tummy rubs to the dogs. Mrs. Lindsey said the improvement in the dogs’ attitude was remarkable after even a few hours in care.

A tummy rub brings an ecstatic response.

The rescue groups, however, are looking at a lengthy and expensive medical recovery period for the dogs, and do not expect all to survive. Many showed initial symptoms of massive heartworm infection, which could be fatal in their weakened condition. For that reason, it may be months before most can even be considered candidates for adoption, and their medical care will be costly. Update: An immediate response from caring people around the world assured sufficient funds to provide for the dogs’ care. We are all very grateful for what you have done to help.

Rescuers believe these scars mean this female once had her jaws wired shut in a brutal attempt to prevent barking.
Hollow eyes full of hope.

7 Responses to Houston Lab Rescue – 2000

  1. ROBERT HALL says:

    The people I am living with have a very nice dog , a lab, name of Zeus , he has snapped at the owner. and Zeus’s owner is ether going to shot the dog or have him put to sleep! He needs a good careing home.
    I am west of Rosenberg on HWY 90 ALT W.
    Please have someone cal me , I do not want to see this dog hurt or killed.
    281-202-3327

  2. sheri says:

    I have a lab/german shephard mix that I had found in my drive way and had to bottle feed as a baby. He is now about 6 yrs old and is a very loyal dog. We could let him out of the fenced part of the yard and he would stay by our side on our 5 acres. We have had to move to town recently and need to find a home for “Destin”. Please email or call me if there is a way to find him a home. Thank You! 713-972-2426

  3. Kelley Stalnaker says:

    I came across a black lab roughly one year old. He showed up at our house and wouldn’t leave. He is a very sweet loving dog. Loves children and other animals, wouldn’t hurt a fly. However we need to find him a home because we can’t keep him. His name is Chaos. I am in the New caney/Kingwood Tx area.. Please call or email me soon, I want to find this animal a loving home where he will be taken care of. 832-401-1797

  4. Carla says:

    A black lab has showed up at our house we our dog lovers and would love to keep her but we already have 4 dogs of are own. we have tried for the past few weeks to find her a good home she is very sweet and great with my 5 year old son . We just cant afford another dog.

  5. Lois Mikawa says:

    I am wondering if this Luanne Lindsey is the same person who lived in Hawaii in 1975-76 and had three yellow labs????
    There is nothing more heart breaking than animal abuse! God bless all of you for the work you do!

  6. Karrie Kristoff says:

    I need to find my 2yr old chocolate lab a good home. Going through a divorce. up to date on shots. will get her fixed.I need to find her a good home . Any sugestions please let me know.

  7. DogMom says:

    Try checking for Labrador rescue organizations in your area; they exist all over the country. Good luck!

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