SANDUSKY – Edith Russian stood quietly and watched as her 49 dogs were carried away by members of the Humane Society last Friday.
The 82 year-old Sandusky resident has been raising puppies as a way to make a living for many, many years, but recently realized she was no longer able to care for them in the way she knew they needed to be cared for.
“We were called by a concerned person who claimed the dogs were being abused. The dogs were not abused. Instead what we found was an elderly woman who needed help,” said Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Berry.
According to Berry, Russian knew she was no longer able to care for the animals, some of which were dropped off by people who could no longer care for their dogs.
She told Deputy Berry that she would go outside to tend to her dogs and find strange dogs locked up in the empty cages.
“They knew I would take care of them,” she said.
She told Berry that she had tried to find good homes for the animals, but was having difficulties.
She told him she just couldn’t take care of them anymore and wasn’t sure what to do.
“I want to thank whoever called Deputy Berry,” she said.
A phone call to the Oklahoma Humane Society started the rescue operation. Local Humane Society members from Grove teamed up with representatives from the Humane Society of Missouri based out of St. Louis and help was on the way.
Missouri members Patience Scanlon and Jeff McRoy, Grove members Linda Miller, Shannon Jones and Jennifer Thumure, along with Deputy Berry, made the trip to Sandusky to pick up the small dogs, which were in good physical condition.
In an agreement, Edith was allowed to keep seven of her pets, whose bloodline she has maintained since she was a five year-old child.
She will be taking them to the Grove Humane Society for neutering next month.