ROOSEVELT — One hundred and one dogs were discovered in a Duchesne County home during evacuations for the Dollar Ridge Fire in early July, officials said.
Cruella de Vil was nowhere to be found.
Residents of the area discovered the dogs while they were helping remove pets left behind in homes during the evacuations, according to the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office.
The owner of the dogs had died months previously, leaving his 101 animals in the care of his elderly father who was unable to properly care for them. The elderly man had already evacuated his home by the time the residents found the dogs.
The group brought some of the abandoned canines to the Red Cross shelter at Duchesne High School, but were unable to rescue all of them, the sheriff’s office said. The Duchesne County Animal Control went back later to retrieve the rest, and the dogs are now in the care of the Roosevelt Animal Shelter and Furever Buddy’s Dog Rescue in Roosevelt.
“We went out the Fourth of July and brought back 61 at that time, and then we got another 40 the next day. So right at 101,” said Roosevelt Animal Shelter assistant director Janet Alberts.
Alberts said the home where the dogs were found was very small, and a lot of the dogs lived outside — though they could go in and out as they pleased. Quite a few were in need of medical attention when they were found, but none had rabies, she added.
“It’s been pretty rough,” Alberts said laughing. “Not quite the everyday handling dogs, but it’s been quite the experience. It’s had its rewarding points. And to have them here, (you know) they’re going to be OK and go to good homes. It just makes it all worthwhile.”
Some of the dogs are already being fostered by families, but the shelter is now seeking only experienced foster homes since some of the dogs have special needs and medical issues.
“These little guys are not very social, and they need a lot of special attention,” Alberts said.
She hopes they’ll be able to put the dogs up for adoption within a few weeks once the paperwork is ready to go.
Alberts said the community has stepped in to help, and the shelters have received food and cash donations, which are very much appreciated.
“If (you’re) experienced (at fostering animals), please call us at the shelter, and we can work something out,” Alberts said. “I know, at this point, there are a lot of people who want to adopt (the dogs), and we’re all thrilled about that. But if (you) can just be a little patient with us, we’re planning on knocking out this paperwork by the end of the week.”
Those hoping to foster, adopt or donate food or money can reach the Roosevelt Animal Shelter at 435-725-3649 and Furever Buddy’s Dog Rescue at 435-733-0870.