LEBANON, Ohio -- The Humane Association of Warren County took in 18 dogs and puppies rescued this week from "a deplorable hoarding situation" in southeast Ohio.
They were living at a ramshackle, rural property in a part of the state lacking resources to nurture them back to health. Joanne Hurley, the Humane Association's shelter and animal care manager, drove three hours to pick them up.
"Their injuries we originally thought were due to birth defects," Hurley said. "We have found out through X-rays and examinations that these were actual abuse injuries."
Their medical needs range from severe skin infections to missing limbs.
One pup no longer has hind legs. Hurley immediately named him Lt. Dan.
"Lt. Dan actually has a spinal fracture that has misaligned during the healing process," Hurley said. "He also had fractured back legs, which either have gotten an infection and rotted away or, by a dog's nature, he might have chewed them away if they were useless to him."
Each dog will need some sort of corrective surgery. Veterinarian Dr. Rich Coleman of Four Paws Animal Hospital in Lebanon is donating his time to evaluate and diagnose each animal rescued. Some require medications and other hernia repair and corrective eye and orthopedic surgeries, according to the humane association.
"After the assessments, we believe we're going to be able to save every one of them. It's looking really good," Hurley said.
The Humane Association of Warren County is a nonprofit animal welfare organization founded in 1973.
This story contains reporting from WCPO media partner the Journal-News.