Cheyenne Animal Shelter gains control of hoarded dogs

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Cheyenne, Wyo. - After almost five months of care at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, 19 purebred Springer Spaniels will be released to the Shelter on Saturday, November 11th.

This past June, Cheyenne Animal Control officers seized 21 dogs belonging to the same owner who allegedly failed to provide the animals with the minimum legal requirements for owning animals in Laramie County.

In cases where Animal Control deals with animal cruelty, officers have the legal authority to seize custody of the animal and hold it at the Shelter until a judge can issue a ruling in the case. With large cases such as with the Spaniels, this can often take up to six months or more.

The dogs vary in age, from six months to 10 years. When the animals arrived, Medical Director, Dr. Tessha Winsch examined the dogs, and many were injured and in poor health. Staff at the Shelter have been caring for the animals which includes daily care, scheduled training to prevent mental health decline, vaccinations and regular grooming. Two of the dogs have passed away during that time due to severe medical conditions.

The remaining 19 dogs have been held on court hold at the Shelter for 154 days. Cost of care for animals at the Shelter has been calculated to $48.50 a day, meaning each dog has cost the Shelter $7,469. That is a total loss of $146,373 the Shelter has experienced due to this hoarding case.

Cheyenne Animal Shelter Director of Operations, Chelsey Fletcher says, “We’re increasingly seeing more cases similar to this. When we receive large hoarding cases, it exhausts resources, and at times we have no other option than to request charges be dropped due to the expense and lack of space.”

Animal Control has requested charges be dropped so that the Spaniels can be adopted and move out of the Shelter and on to forever homes. They become the legal property of the Cheyenne Animal Shelter on Saturday, November 11th.

On Monday the dogs will become available for adoption. Due to the expense of this case the adoption fees for these animals will be higher than usual. The Shelter expects $3,920 in adoption fees for the Spaniels, making a total loss of $142,453 due to this case.

Animal Control Officer Ryan Johnson says, “Hoarding doesn’t just hurt the animals involved, it hurts the entire community. We would like to encourage everyone to be vigilant and immediately report any acts of animal cruelty to us by calling 307-278-2012.”