A rental home in Freeport, IL was found hoarding dozens of dead animals and 85 live dogs. The Chicago Tribune reported Thursday, that the horrors inside the home at 1358 N. Heitter Road were accidentally discovered by the landlord, who then notified authorities. The tenant who fled the home, abandoning the mess of deplorable conditions and neglected animals, is now believed to have fled to Wisconsin.
While working onsite in a shed, landlord Cole Eshleman heard barking coming from inside his rental house. Upon noticing the cracked open door and attempting to investigate the noise, he opened the door and was shocked to find an excess of 30 dogs flooding out of the home and into the yard. With further assessment of the horrible dog hording situation, dozens of dead dogs and 29 dead cats were also found inside the feces and urine riddled home.
Some of the dogs were locked inside cages, others in closets, and dogs were even found in the duct work and stove. Many of the animals were infested with parasites and suffering from skin conditions associated with neglect and unsanitary living conditions. Several are currently being considered for humane euthanasia due to poor condition.
Animal control warden Kristin Laue, along with volunteers and the Friends Forever Humane Society worked for nearly 5 hours just to initially remove all of the living animals from the putrefied home. Starved dogs need to be fed small portions frequently to avoid complications. Laue made a statement that “Some of the really thin ones are getting food as many as four times a day.”
Most of the dogs are now being held at the Freeport Animal Hospital, and some at other local rescues. Due to the overwhelming number of animals this situation caused them to intake, donations to the Animal Hospital are being encouraged. Items needed: small towels and rags, newspapers, Dawn dish soap, laundry detergent, bleach, paper towels, Purina dog chow, Purina puppy chow and canned dog food.
Please direct donations to the Freeport Animal Hospital: 321 E. South St, Freeport, IL Call 815-232-4938 for more information.
Especially in these tough economic times when a record breaking number of pets are being surrendered (and irresponsibly bred & re-homed), animal shelters are becoming increasingly dependent on donations from their local communities. Donations in any monetary amount are greatly appreciated by local not-for-profit shelters and are the obvious method of giving, but many times donations of supplies are just as treasured and needed. Check out this list of the most commonly requested shelter items: Overcrowded animal shelters need supplies.
The Journal Standard reported, “Tina McKinnon, 45, is charged with two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony typically punishable with probation or up to three years in prison, Sheriff’s Lt. Richard Roodhouse said. She also received two misdemeanor charges of cruel treatment to animals and a misdemeanor charge of neglecting owner’s duties.”
Tina is still at large, although she is believed to be hiding out in Wisconsin. She has also been aliased under the last names of Powell, Garcia, Featherstone and Huerta, and anyone with information on her whereabouts is urged to call the Stephenson County Sheriff’s office at 815-235-8257 or Stateline Area Crimestoppers at 866-847-7669.