Area animal rescue operations are hustling to save several Yorkshire terriers following a raid Friday, July 30, north of Hermiston.
Robin Barker, vice president of Fuzz Balls Animal Rescue, said several mistreated Yorkshire terriers were uncovered off Highway 395 near Hermiston in a trailer with no electricity or running water. With temperatures rising past the 100 degree mark this past week, it created an unsafe environment for the puppies.
While Barker couldn’t say how many dogs were in the trailer, six of the dogs were voluntarily given to the shelter due to their condition. Five were taken to the animal shelter, and one additional puppy is in critical care
One of the terriers, despite being nearly 3 months old, weighed only 1 pound. Though he is receiving care at Fuzz Balls, Barker is not hopeful his condition will improve.
“He’s not likely going to make it,” Barker said.
Both the malnourished dog and its siblings are infected with canine parvovirus, a highly-contagious disease that can be prevented with easily-accessible vaccines. If left untreated, canine parvovirus, commonly known as “parvo,” can result in death in as little as 48 hours.
The other five dogs rescued are being treated for parvo at Mikey’s Chance Canine Rescue, a West Richland, Washington-based shelter. Executive Director Andrea Moreno said the terriers arrived in rough shape but are being taken care of.
“They are doing OK right now, but are all in gross condition,” Moreno said. “They came in filthy, with matted hair and feces and urine all over them, and all dehydrated.”
Mikey’s Chance is one of the premier parvo treating facilities in the area, but the condition the dogs came in was severe even by the clinic’s standards, Moreno said. She is hopeful the dogs — ranging from 16 days old to 3 years — will recover.
While the Mikey’s Chance staff are working with the infected dogs in West Richland, an investigation is underway in Hermiston regarding the care the animals received.
Capt. Sterrin Ward with the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a deputy visited the residence on July 30 and recovered some of the animals. The six dogs receiving the care of shelters were turned over voluntarily, and many remain in the trailer.
Both Barker and Moreno encouraged anyone who recently purchased a Yorkshire terrier breed to get them checked for health issues, stressing the importance of knowing where your pet comes from. A good way to check is simply asking to see where the dog is raised.
“Anytime you are purchasing a puppy, check and make sure they come from a good location,” Moreno said. “Any reputable breeder will have no problem with that.”
Moreno said breeders who refuse that request may run a puppy mill — a breeding facility that focuses on quick breeding and often neglects the care or condition of the animals. The Hermiston trailer is a textbook case, and Barker said they are a problem she has dealt with numerous times over the years.
“(They) are one of so many here in Hermiston,” Barker said. “Something needs to change. In the end, the animals suffer.”
–Antonio Arredondo/East Oregonian