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Animal population down at Franklin Co. shelter

November 30, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. ? Despite some more strays coming in, the canine count was down to 41 on Tuesday at the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter, which saw its population swell about two weeks ago when dozens of dogs were seized from an allegedly illegal kennel.

"We've had between 40 and 50 applications" on Saturday to adopt some of the dogs the shelter took in, said Jennifer Vanderau, the shelter's director of communications. "Saturday was crazy ? in a good way."

"It's going to take us a while to process them, so we're asking for patience," Vanderau said of the applications. Also, no dogs are adopted out of the shelter unless they have been spayed or neutered, and some either have just undergone the operations and are recovering or are awaiting the procedures.

On Friday, the shelter had 52 dogs, well above the normal capacity of about 35, Vanderau said. Several dogs since have been adopted, "but of course, we have strays coming in through the door."

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What remains mostly are purebred, including chow puppies, golden retrievers and an Irish setter. The 18 Afghan hounds taken from the illegal kennel were taken in by Afghan Hound Club of America Rescue, Vanderau said.

Other purebreds from the illegal kennel were taken in by other breed rescue groups, she said. A complete list of those groups is available on the shelter's Web site at www.cvas-pets.org.

"We're really grateful for all the rescues" that took in, transported or otherwise helped find shelter for many of the dogs, Vanderau said. She also thanked members of the public for their interest in adopting the animals or making donations to help meet the costs of medical treatment, feeding and other care.

"I'm always personally touched when we put the call out and the community steps up to help," Vanderau said. "It means a lot to all of us."

The dogs were seized from the Hamilton Township home of Tim and Cindy Keller, who were issued citations by Animal Cruelty Office Floyd Hessler and Pennsylvania Dog Law Officer Georgia Martin. Magisterial District Judge Richard Alloway last week fined the couple more than $8,600 on the animal cruelty and illegal kennel operation citations.

Dogs were found to be underweight, suffering from a variety of illnesses and living in feces-contaminated runs, according to the citations. Vanderau said two animals had to be euthanized.

A staff member at Alloway's office on Tuesday said the couple has to plead guilty to or contest the citations.

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