Update: Epidemic of dogs dumped, abused, poisoned in South FL; rescues need help

Update: Wonderful donors opened their hearts and their wallets. On February 25, Poodle and Pooch rescue posted this on their Facebook page: “You Did It. Now It’s Our Turn! You donated $10,565 for the Redlands Dogs!!! Stephanie W. is matching $10,000!! Now it’s our turn! We are going to save 100 of these dogs. The next 7 dogs have been caught and will arrive in Orlando in the next couple of days. THANK YOU for making a difference in the lives of these forgotten dogs. Watch for the Redlands website page next week so you can meet the dogs as they arrive.”

Thank you, readers, for sharing their journey, and for anything you may have done to make this happen!

Original article:

Florida animal advocates are aware that many areas of the state have become prime dumping grounds for unwanted pets. One of the worst epidemics is in The Redlands, a rural area south of Miami, where people abandon their dogs like trash and drive away. According to a local rescue, these dogs are being poisoned and abused for the amusement of ‘cowards and criminals.’

Over the past few years, just a handful of rescues, volunteers and individuals have been stepping up to help these animals, a group known collectively as The Redlands Rock Pit Abandoned Dog Project. Last week, Poodle and Pooch Rescue of Florida (PPR) stepped in and took four of the dogs, including Guinness and Sunshine, and today, they picked up six more, driving them to new lives in Orlando.

These lucky few, of varying breeds and ages, were taken to the East Orlando Animal Hospital to get checked out. They are covered with fleas, some have tumors, others have ear infections. Rebecca Lynch, President of Poodle and Pooch, says, “there are over 100 dogs there now, and it’s almost become a race to save them. People are learning about the dogs being dumped down there, and they practice Santeria down there, and now they’re trying to catch the dogs to do that. They’re catching them for bait. It’s a big issue.”

Advocates are asking for local authorities, rescues and individuals to get involved. Says Lynch,

“The dogs are suffering, and those that aren’t caught are hit by cars, an average of five dogs per week, and they’re dying of starvation.”

Rescues are trying to raise money and awareness, so they can rescue as many as they can. There are too many still left who need help, all breeds all ages. PPR has one special donor, Stephanie W., who is willing to give $10,000 if the rescue can match that amount through additional donations. For every dollar you donate to PPR for The Redlands Rescue, she will double it. Your $50 donation becomes $100. PPR are committed to saving 100 of The Redlands dogs, but need help from advocates like you. If you can donate, please click here. If you can adopt, click here. If you can foster, here’s the link.

Fostering is a key to the success of this mission. Fosters for the larger dogs are their most desperate need right now. Poodle and Pooch, who saved over 500 local dogs in 2015, know they currently don’t have enough foster homes for all the dogs in need. Many will board with their veterinarian until foster homes become available. If you’d like to meet some of the dogs from PPR, they’re holding an event on Saturday in Winter Park, Florida. For information, please click here.

PPR has multiple five-star ratings on their Facebook page. They attend every local event where adoptable animals are showcased, hoping to bring their furkids together with new forever homes. If you can help in other ways, please contact Michele Wacker, Special Needs Director of PPR, at 407-620-2316.

Redlands RockPit Abandoned Dog Project gives a huge shout-out to other groups who came to the rescue of more Redlands dogs this weekend. Gulf Coast Humane Society, Kathi’s K9 Dog Rescue, Paws Lee County, GTS Husky Rescue and many volunteers including Ale Ochoa, Yleana Escobar, Cheryl Remima Jackson and Jane Ziemba. Other groups, such as 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida, have been in the trenches of The Redlands for years, helping dogs like Bambam, Wilma, Pebbles, Woody and Jessy find safety, security, love, and new homes.

Says a Redlands representative,

“Every day we face frustration, we are overwhelmed, we feel helpless, because owners keep dumping furbabies in the middle of nowhere to fend for themselves; there’s so much we can do, but we are committed to save them. And seeing them rescued is our gift, our motivation to continue.”

Links have been provided above for all the groups involved in this massive, unending effort. Please, be their voice, by donating, fostering, adopting, or transporting. Help these rescues continue to battle against the inhumanity they witness every day, in The Redlands.

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