The 12 Huskies of Christmas
We didn't help the 12 alone, we had some fantastic friends at other rescues who stepped up to help us with these poor babies. Tim Wicks from 8 Below was fab offering to start an auction page to secure much-needed funds. For kennel costs alone, we were looking at £60 per day minimum...
Everyone had been working tirelessly on the auction, it was a huge headache for them all but it was well worth it
John Duxbury was fantastic, offering support and neutering help when the time is right, as were other rescues who helped us collect donations and gave us contacts who may have been able to help us.
Eventually, we spoke to Karen at Jaycliffe Kennels in Rotherham and after a chat about the dire condition of these dogs and the state they were probably in, she agreed to take all the Huskies in one of her kennel blocks and if we did most of the work with them, it would keep the cost right down. We couldn't have hoped for a better offer and we will remain forever in her debt for this.
We went to assess the dogs on the afternoon of Saturday the 21st of December 2013 with every intention of taking all of them, whatever condition and temperament, it was obvious we had to get them out of there. We would worry about problem dogs later...
Claire Dalton (the rescue boss) and 3 other volunteers we went in and removed these babies from the hell they were forced to live in. Claire Dalton said "We will never forget the look in their eyes as we met them in their dirty pens, the sheer desperation, the smell...the force provided by the owner to get them out of all they had ever known will stay with me until I drop, as will the look in the other dogs eyes, the ones we left behind because, the owner was a breeder, despite what we had been told, she had pens with other dogs and puppies. Her yard and set up told us she was clearly a backyard breeder."
The Huskies were literally dragged up the yard and into the van...partly because they wouldn't go forward alone (they had never been on leads before) and partly because time was ticking... They were pretty much dragged by their necks to the point where one or two were almost out cold on the floor.
A few we had to carry because they were so bad. There was no aggression even though they were petrified, they were just scared of the unknown and wanted to stay with what they knew. We took them in the vans to Jaycliffe and never heard a peep out of them the whole way there,
Getting them out of the van they had been so reluctant to load into, again was an issue and Karen the Kennel owner came and helped. Again, we had to make them do the opposite of what they wanted and they were scared stiff, some throwing themselves around so badly on the lead it was a mystery how they didn't snap their necks.
It was a shocking, emotionally draining night but by 8 pm we had them all safe, in kennels with their breeding partner, with food water and clean shelter. Our only intention over the next two weeks was to leave them be and let them settle down until after new year, to allow them to become used to people popping in and out, scooping poo, feeding, cleaning the kennel etc, no touch, no eye contact and minimum interaction, just to let them be dogs.
They stunk of their own pee and poo. Well fed? Or fat because they had no chance to exercise? All had skin conditions that were sorted in time with treatment and clean conditions but their eyes were bright, they looked healthy on the whole and for that, we were grateful.
Now it was time to begin rehabilitating the 12 and allowing them to trust humans again.
To see information about each dog written by Claire Dalton who worked with the dogs almost every day until they were adopted, click on their picture.