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MCHA Officials Rescue Over 70 Dogs From Greene County Home

The Monroe County Humane Association is working to rehabilitate and place more than 70 dogs rescued this week from a home in Greene County.

On Tuesday, after receiving an anonymous tip, the MCHA along with the Indiana State Police, the Green County Health Department, and various other animal welfare organizations removed the dogs from Green County.

Many of the dogs were kept in a trailer that had been partitioned into cages with chain-link fencing.  The dogs are now housed in a temporary shelter at the City of Bloomington’s Police and Fire Training Center.

MCHA  CEO Sarah Hayes explained this situation is a classic example of what is called “mission-driven hoarding,” where hoarding tendencies are fueled by a strong drive to rescue animals.

Hayes said such tendencies are worsened by the environment in Greene County where there are few animal ordinances and a small, overwhelmed humane society.

“So, animals running free, not spayed and neutered, there is no limit on how many animals you can have in your home or elsewhere,” Hayes said.  “It is a really tough situation over there because nothing can be done. Usually it has to get to this level of bad before something can be done.”

According to Hayes, part of the issue is that animal ordinances are made county by county with no statewide laws in place to provide continuity.  Hayes said a state law would be helpful but worried it would not garner enough local support.

“It also comes to enforcement.  And so if you have a state law, you need people in those communities to enforce it and if there is an unwillingness, no interest, or not enough resources, it is not going to happen.”

Hayes said the residence in Green County does not appear to qualify as a puppy mill and therefore does not fall under the purview of recent puppy mill legislation.  Hayes said the dogs are now getting proper veterinary care and many will be transferred to other animal shelters both in and outside Indiana.

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