The New Hampshire SPCA is in desperate need of donations after spending more than $100,000 caring for dozens of dogs involved in one cruelty case.
On Friday, our NBC10Boston crew met Jill, Jack, Cali, Smokey, and the list goes on.
"I would say we are more inundated now than I ever recall," said NHSPCA Executive Director Lisa Dennison.
U.S. & World
Thirty-six dogs were rescued from a New Hampshire woman who is now facing 29 charges of animal cruelty. The case started at the end of last year, when a fire at Jennifer Choate's Bristol home killed 29 dogs.
After the fire, police executed a search warrant at a barn Choate rented in Alexandria. It was the middle of winter, and police found almost two dozen German shepards locked in small, metal crates in temperatures below freezing.
"It was just heartbreaking," Dennison said. "Heartbreaking."
In cases like this, the NHSPCA is required by law to keep the animals as evidence until a judge decides their fate. So for the last six months, these dogs have grown up in a kennel.
"Some of the dogs have never been up and down a staircase," Dennison said. "They don't know the warmth of a home."
For the first time in more than two decades, the shelter has burned through its rescue fund, spending more than $100,000 caring for Choate's animals.
"This has been the most difficult case I can remember in a very long time," Dennison said.
And on Thursday, 10 more dogs from a different case were surrendered, leaving the NHSPCA in dire need of the public's help.
"We sit and we wait, and wait, and wait, and wait," Dennison said. "The cost of caring for these animals grows every single day."
She says there is no relief in the near future, because the dogs will have to be held in protective custody, at least until Choate goes back to court until July.