State seizes dozens of dogs

Kali Vukas, animal welfare specialist at the Lawrence Humane Society, grooms a young female Pekingese shih tzu that was recently brought in with dozens of other dogs that the state had confiscated from breeders.

It’s been a busy week for employees at the Lawrence Humane Society after the Kansas Animal Health Department seized dozens of dogs from two breeders.

“They were in pretty terrible shape,” Lawrence Humane Society Executive Director Midge Grinstead said Thursday. “They smelled like a sewer. They’d been outside in the weather. They just looked really bad.”

Grinstead said the animal shelter started getting calls last week from people who had visited a Douglas County breeder who was giving away dogs.

“The calls were that the animals were in terrible shape,” Grinstead said.

Employees from the Humane Society visited the breeder to check on the condition of the dogs, but Grinstead said because there were more than 19 animals, they immediately turned the case over to the state.

“The state of Kansas went out and actually reached a consent agreement and brought us the animals here,” Grinstead said.

Attempts to reach the Kansas Animal Health Department were unsuccessful.

The majority of the dogs have been passed on to other shelters and dispersed to area rescue groups.

Grinstead said the Humane Society received another 50 animals on Tuesday. The dogs were seized by the state from a breeder in Allen County in southeast Kansas.

The majority of the dogs were small breeds like shih tzus, Yorkshire terriers and bichon frises.

“We had a couple of really interesting dogs — Skye terriers. I’ve been here 13 years and we’ve never had one of those,” Grinstead said.

Humane society employees have been hard at work getting the dogs ready to be placed in area shelters and rescue groups, but Grinstead said they still have eight to 10 left ready for adoption.

“If the community wants to help, we certainly have some dogs that could use a home, so please come in,” she said.

If you can’t adopt one of the animals, Grinstead said you can still help out by donating blankets and towels to the animal shelter.