On February 28th, Gentle Giants Rescue in conjunction with local animal control and SPCA rescued 19 dogs from a hoarding situation.
In our 10 years of rescue, this is the biggest rescue effort we have ever done... Many people say to me that things like this only happen in the south.... Well here is the proof that it happens right here in NJ.... Animal neglect and cruelty is a worldwide problem...
We were told there were 15 mastiff’s that needed to be removed from the home. Knowing that because of their size, these dogs would be short listed at a shelter, of course we agreed. During the rescue, we realized there were 19 dogs and they were not specifically Mastiffs. They turned out to be a mixed bag - A giant Schnauzer, A Neapolitan Mastiff, two Bouviers, Tosa Inu's, and mixes of all the above along with some Dane and Lab.
They range in age from newborn to 2-3 yrs and one senior. We were told by animal control the dogs had never been outside or to a vet. None were spayed/neutered. Even though the dogs were not giants, we committed to them and have been taking care of them since. In that time they’ve been spayed/neutered and fully vetted. We’ve named them, dewormed them. deloused them, bathed them and bathed them again. We’ve watched their personalities emerge, put collars on them for the first time, and taught some of them how to walk on a leash. They’ve learned about potty training and how to maneuver up and down stairs. We’ve hugged them, loved them, cried hours of tears for them and watched them begin to trust us. We are only 4 volunteers and we’re doing our best to be with them constantly.
Two dogs, Nico and new momma Izzy were so aggressive, we couldn't get near them. Both have turned the corner. Nico is still unsure about people, but will let one of the volunteers walk her, pet her and she trusts him. Izzy has blossomed into a sweet, playful girl. Sudden movements make her run back into her crate and she's unsure about strange men, but she loves kisses and belly rubs. Both of them came to accept us on their own. Seeing them accept and trust us is something that words can't explain.
Don the senior Schnauzer is in foster and doing fantastic. His foster mom loves him and they've become best friends. He's enjoying lots of couch time and comfy bed time and is living the life he was meant to have.
Jane is a Neo Mastiff or Mastiff mix. She needs hip replacement surgery from an old injury but that doesn't stop her. She loves to play and run, but doesn't seem to like the other dogs as much as we originally thought
Hillary, Hanna, Leo and Heidi are Tosa/Lab/Dane mixes. They are young pups between 4 and 6 months old. They’re excitable and don’t fully understand large groups of people, but want to play and be paid attention to. They're sweet and funny with goofy puppy personalities.
Gunner and Tank are also Tosa/Lab/Dane mixes about 6-12 months old. They are such good boys. Gunner was adopted and he’s doing well. He has some bouts of anxiety, but his new family is wonderful and they are working with him to ease his worries. Tank was completely shut down and we were very worried about him but in the last two weeks, he's come into his own. He's more subdued than Gunner, but he's opened up and loves to play and romp.
Tosa/Lab/Dane mixes Jill and Skarr are a bit older 12-18 months. Skarr, who wouldn't walk into the vets on the day of rescue is a champ on a leash now and loves being outside. Jill is a silly girl. They’ve both been adopted and will live in Ohio with a fantastic family.
Radar and Sarge, the bouvier boys have truly blossomed. Both boys were skittish and scared of us at first. Radar is still shy but curious. Like a true Bouvier, Sarge can be bossy, but he's a good guy. Sarge is recently in foster and we know he's going to be just fine.
The newborn pups are Lily, Rocky, Kato and Bentley. We watched them open their eyes, we've bottle fed them and cleaned them up after feeding time. We’ve nuzzled them and loved them and feel so very fortunate that they will grow up in the loving environment all dogs deserve. Lily and Rocky will be adopted together. Kato is going to be adopted by the same wonderful family that adopted Gunner and little Bentley will be going to NY State to become a therapy dog for a young boy with autism.
We’re exhausted and we’ll be raising the over Y2K we need to pay for their care for months, but watching each of these dogs find their place is a reward that has no words. They are beautiful and we love them.