Photo by Ellen Fike

Update: Cheyenne Animal Shelter Sees ‘Overwhelming’ Outpouring Of Support For Hoarded Dogs

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

After being overwhelmed by the intake of nearly 60 “giant dogs” earlier this week, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter is beginning to get back to normal, according to its CEO.

Despite the Cheyenne Animal Shelter staffers being overwhelmed in a bad way at the beginning of the week with the intake of nearly 60 “giant” dogs, CEO Britney Tenant told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that the tide has shifted.

Britney Tenant told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that people from Cheyenne and nearby communities have rallied together to help the animal shelter handle the large number of massive dogs brought in this week as the result of a hoarding case.

“We have been overwhelmed in the best possible way,” she said. “We were a little nervous at first when they came, because nationwide, we’re seeing overcrowding in shelters, particularly with large breed dogs. We already had a shelter of large breed dogs before these came in.”

By Friday, however, all of the shelter’s available foster dogs had gone to temporary homes and even one of the large dogs surrendered as part of the hoarding case had been adopted, Tenant said.

Tenant said multiple fund and supply drives have been organized to raise money for supplies by not only Cheyenne businesses, but even a bar in Gillette known as Pokey’s.

Tenant said that the hoarding situation was discovered after the wind blew over a fence at the property south of Cheyenne where the dogs lived, which allowed a number of them, around 15 or 16, to escape.

“They did run a horse through a fence when they got out, which required medical care,” she said. “So animal control began receiving a lot of calls about the situation, which led them to tracing the dogs back to the one residence.”

Tenant noted the owner of the dogs did not live on the same property as the dogs. Fifty-eight dogs have been recovered, but Tenant believed one might have still been at large as of Friday.

The owner of the dogs is believed to have acquired all of them within the last couple of years. Their ages have not all yet been determined, since there is only one veterinarian on staff at the shelter and some of the dogs are not ready to be touched by humans.

Tenant did note that the owner has had run-ins with Cheyenne’s Animal Control Division before.

“He has had some illegal wildlife, some sort of small wild cat, seized before, but has voluntarily surrendered them,” she said. “This particular set of offenses is a relatively recent development, though.”

Two of the dogs surrendered earlier this week have given birth to puppies, Tenant said, with one dog delivering three puppies and another requiring an emergency C-section in order to deliver nine living puppies.

Some breed-specific shelters have also offered to take in some of the large dogs, since Tenant said a few of the older ones will likely need extra love and care before being adopted out.

“Mostly, these dogs are going to be adopted into our community, which is great,” she said. “I think they’re perfectly safe dogs. They may be a little shy, but they’re going to be really grateful. Plus, we know they can live with other dogs. I call them ‘diplomatic.'”

As for the dozens of birds the shelter is also taking in from the hoarding situation, Tenant did not have much more information, as the birds were just coming into the shelter as of Friday morning.

“Once we know more, the community will know,” she said. “But I don’t know how many there are, what kind or much at all at this point.”

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