Six puppies and their new owners celebrated happy endings and new beginnings Saturday.
“They went to the families they’re supposed to,” said Amber Oldfield.
Oldfield, an adoption counselor for Cedar Valley Humane Society, helped run today’s lottery to find new homes for six 10-week old cocker spaniels whose mother was one of 87 dogs and a cat seized from a farm near Kiron in Sac County Jan. 25.
Sheriff’s deputies found the animals living in squalid conditions. Charged with 93 counts of animal neglect, the farm’s owner relinquished custody of the dogs and cat, which went to animal shelters across the state.
The Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Des Moine placed 15 dogs, including two pregnant females, with the Cedar Valley shelter outside Cedar Rapids.
“They knew they had a serious situation on their hands, and we’ve worked with them in the past,” said CVHS Executive Director Bob Citrullo.
Cedar Valley placed all the dogs except the two expectant mothers in late January. Today’s lottery placed the first litter. Citrullo said the second litter will be placed when they’re done nursing, in another four to six weeks.
The dogs are living at Kirkwood Community College, where they’re cared for by students studying to be veterinary technicians or assistants.
“Very healthy, very social,” was Citrullo’s assessment of the pups under the students’ care.
With online breeders’ listings showing purebred cocker spaniel pups bringing more than $2,000, the chance to take one home for CVHS’s usual $125 adoption fee brought calls from across the country, according to Citrullo. About 100 people turned out at the shelter, attracted as much by the pups’ story as their bargain price.
“It’s just too bad people do that,” said Kathy Henderson of Marion as she and husband Tom Henderson waited to collect Ransom, the final puppy to go.
The Hendersons were actually drawn as alternates when Ransom was won by another candidate who wasn’t able to meet all the adoption requirements.
“It was kind of a let-down,” said Tom Henderson, 65. “Then we got home and found out we did (win). It’s kind of nice.”
Kathy Henderson, 62 said Ransom may become Buddy at his new home, which he’ll share with their miniature daschund Lucy.
“We’re ready for him,” said Tom Henderson as Oldfield handed over Ransom.