YUMA — More than 50 animals were discovered in a building at Yuma Thursday afternoon in what local animal activists are referring to as “dog hoarding.”
A local business man said he was horrified when he peeked through the window of a building on the property of the former Clubhouse Suites and saw a lady inside with dozens of dogs.
“We purchased this about a week ago and there was a guy living here taking care of the property,” said Carl Goff. “I told him ‘you guys will have to go.’
Goff returned a few days later and discovered the woman and what he assumed was about 15 dogs inside the small building.
“I didn’t know that there were any dogs or a lady living here,” said Goff. “I pulled up one night and saw the woman and I called my wife and told her were going to have to call the state or somebody to get her some help.”
Goff described the woman, identified as Rachel, as very skinny and looking like a “zombie.” Rachel eventually did speak to Goff, telling him that she had lived there for almost two years.
“I asked her how many dogs did she have and she said about 12 or 13,” said Goff. “I had never been inside the building.
Goff located some of Rachel’s relatives who in turn notified the missing caretaker, who was identified as Danny Mounts. Rachel is reportedly Mounts’ sister.
“They come back today and got her,” said Goff. “I didn’t want to call the dog pound; I wanted someone to adopt them. Little did I know what I would find today.”
Inside the two story building, dozens of dogs were kept on each floor with the windows covered. Animal hair and feces covered the floor and the stench was overwhelming. But surprisingly, there were no dead animals and the animals, although underweight, did not look starved.
“I only made it in about two feet,” said Goff. “I’m a Marine Corp veteran and it took my breath. It was unreal.”
Inside the building there are several items of furniture, including a couch and chair, and the television had been left on. There was no water to the building, but the electricity and an air conditioner was working.
Following a call for volunteers on facebook, the Logan County WV Pound Adoptable Animals and SAFE (Saving Animals From Euthanasia), food and water was brought in for the animals. Total animal count was more than 50 dogs and one cat.
Logan County Administrator Rocky Adkins came to the location and spoke with Goff about removing the animals.
“Unfortunately, the pound is at full capacity,” said Adkins. “Summer Wyatt with the state humane office will be here in the morning (Friday) about 9:30. At that point we will try to decide — with all the volunteers helping with the rescue — on how to fix this issue. We’re going to make sure we save as many of these animals as we can.”
Goff has plans of reopening the motel and has been doing cleanup on some of the rooms. Although he knew of more than 15 dogs that were kept chained outside on the grounds, Goff said there was no indication of the total amount of dogs kept inside the small building.
“My wife and some of her friends have been up here cleaning for four days,” said Goff. “They didn’t know anything about the lady. She didn’t have any bed or anything.”
“We were planning to put a restaurant in that building,” said Goff. “Now I’m sure it will have to be torn down.”
Anyone wanting to help with donations can contact the Logan County WV Pound Adoptable Animals at www.facebook.com/logancountyanimals or email email@example.com.