Brown County animal control officers remove 65 dogs from hoarder

RIPLEY, Ohio - For hoarder Ruth Wilder, her love of dogs began as a young girl growing up in an abusive home.

"My mother was a total drunk and she broke chairs over my
back and she beat me and my step dad beat me with horse whips and kept me run out of the house," said Wilder.

Over the years, Wilder's land on Scoffield Road in rural Brown County became a hot spot for drop offs.

"The way the dogs have been to me when I had no one, not even my mother, I can't turn them down," said the 65-year-old.

Brown County Dog Warden Leslie Zureick said Wilder has been on their radar for years, but recently asked for help when the county became a no-kill shelter.

"She got a hold of us through a friend and she said she wasn't able to afford dog food any more because of her medications so we started bringing dog food down and at that point she was ready to get rid of the dogs and she knew we weren't going to kill them" said Zureick.

Overwhelmed by the large number, the shelter asked for help in removing the dogs from national pet organizations.

"I was able to get a hold of Red Rover and Pet Smart Charities. Red Rover sent over all the volunteers, Pet Smart Charities sent all the crates you see, dog food, bowls, leashes, money to vet these dogs," said Zureick. "So now we are able to help her."

The dogs will stay at a temporary location until they can be ready for adoption.

Wilder became emotional having to say goodbye to all her dogs with the exception of three. She gave each one a name and said she has no regrets.

"People have judged me but let me tell you I am proud that I was the owner of these dogs and did take care of them as good as I could for as long as I did. I'm proud of it and I'm not ashamed of it," said Wilder. "I never will be ashamed of it."

The Brown County Animal Shelter is asking for help with caring for all of the dogs. You can find more information by clicking here or going to

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