“Yesterday was phase one, now we are on phase two,” Jeff Mitchell, director of the Public Animal Welfare Services, said.
Mitchell stood in the PAWS operating room watching as veterinarian Robyn O’Kane, of My Kids Have Paws Veterinary Clinic, spayed one of the 48 animals pulled from a Wax Road residence on Tuesday. The facility completely closed on Wednesday due to the sheer number of dogs it took in the previous day.
The goal is to sterilize all of the eligible animals, Mitchell said. The director was trying to get rescuers to come get some of the dogs from PAWS due to a kennel shortage in the facility. When kennels clear up workers can start moving dogs inside from outside holding areas.
“We have had to keep some of the dogs outside for the time being,” Mitchell said. “These dogs are already acclimated to the weather (they were previously living outside) or we wouldn’t keep them there.”
The owner of the 48 dogs, Barbara Winkle, is being charged with 44 counts of animal cruelty and one count of unfit living conditions. Mitchell said although the dogs were well fed, the house and the area the animals were living in were unsanitary, which led to charges.
PAWS officers did not charge Winkle for each dog since the puppies found at the home were being cared for by their mother. Winkle will have an arraignment, Mitchell said, and is not currently booked at Floyd County Jail.
The PAWS director also explained that the count of 54 given Tuesday evening was inaccurate. Due to the large number of dogs being transported into the facility, several dogs were counted twice. Now that the dust has settled the final count has come out to 48.
While rescues are being contacted, the dogs at PAWS are still in need of homes. PAWS posted earlier on their Facebook to please keep in mind that these animals have never been out of their home environment and have not known much human contact. As such, these animals will need patient adopters and rescuers. The facility can also use volunteers to help acclimate the animals to being with people and donations of food and supplies for the influx of animals.
Mitchell said interested adopters can call the facility at 706-236-4537, but for a quicker response to message them on Facebook. PAWS is working on getting more updated photos online so stay tuned for individual photos of the animals.
Adoption fees are waived for the first animal with their regular adoption fees — $40 for dogs and/or $35 for cats — applied to any additional animal. PAWS will be open during their regular business hours starting Thursday, unless they announce otherwise.