Pemiscot County Dog Rescue
By: CJ Cassidy
By: CJ Cassidy
STEELE, Mo. - Would you call authorities if you saw an animal that could be suffering?
Investigators at most shelters say they rely on your tips to step in and rescue animals as they did in Steele.
Rescue workers removed 18 dogs from an 83-year-old man's property, all sick and suffering.
They're doing a lot better now, and rescue workers say they may have stepped in just in time to save some dogs.
In fact, given the conditions they saw, volunteers are amazed those dogs survived.
He's now known as "Clifford the Big Brown Dog" and he's finally out of a box he lived in for goodness knows how long.
Like the other 17 dogs Humane Society workers rescued from the Steele home, Clifford didn't have a name until now.
"Say I was in the box, but now I've got toys and I've got blankets, got food and water and I'm a good dog," said Karol Wilcox, President of the Caruthersville Humane Society playfully instructs Clifford.
Another poodle is called Lucky. "Lucky" because he survived despite being blind, suffering a severe eye infection and a broken leg.
"They were all chained with tight metal chains and padlocks, some with coat hangers and conduits anything he had that was metal," Wilcox said.
The inside of the dogs' trailer is even more shocking.
"I've never seen an animal live in conditions like that. There was dried petrified feces on the floor. The food was being thrown in with the feces. The animals were living with no ventilation like an oven," Wilcox said.
"We noticed he had several dogs," neighbor Frances Powell said.
Still, she said she had no idea the dogs were suffering.
She regrets not calling authorities herself, after seeing so many dogs running around.
"I guess I'm like most people. I try to stay out of stuff, mind your own business," she said.
But rescue workers say someone made it their business and called in a tip and that's given Clifford a new leash on life.
"You go home and cry and it does make you mad because we make every effort to go down and take care of them if you can't," Wilcox said.
The Caruthersville Humane Society Investigator tells Heartland News she doesn't think the dog's owner is a hoarder.
She said hoarders try to take care of their animals and the man in this case, knew what was wrong and just didn't try.
So far the owner has not been charged.
If you would like to help, please contact the Caruthersville Humane Society at (573) 333-0100.
They also accept donations of money, checks, food, toys and blankets. Donations can be mailed to: