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Guardians of Rescue Ohio Bound to Help Local Shelter Dogs

Alyssa Milano didn'tearn her reputation as one of Twitter's most powerful women by being silent on the subject ofanimal welfare. Last month, the actress, a...

Julia Szabo  |  Jan 18th 2011


Alyssa Milano didn’tearn her reputation as one of Twitter’s most powerful women by being silent on the subject ofanimal welfare.

Last month, the actress, a serious dog lover whose Twitter handle is @Alyssa_Milano, helped raise awareness of deplorable conditions atOhio’s Harrison County Pound by tirelessly Tweeting about the matter to her 1,243,006 (as of this writing) followers.

The law didn’t require animals to be sheltered indoors, so the 10 dogs on the premises suffered frostbite, Parvo,and other health problems from being housed outdoors in freezing temperatures, where their water bowls froze over and they couldn’t lie down because theirpens werecovered in ice. One dog was trapped trying to escape beneath a chain link fence (see photo below); another had to have an eye removed.

Milano reached out to Jay Weiner of California’s The Gentle Barn, who stepped up to pay for the injured dogs’ medical care and arrange for them to be transported out of there. The dogsreceived thorough veterinary treatment; they’ve been spayed, neutered, vaccinated,and placed in loving new homes.

To prevent moredogs from becoming injured at the facility,The Gentle Barnimplemented an impressive plan tochange the status quo, connecting animal rescuers all over Ohio andcreating a safety net for future impounded dogs. Weiner then reached out to the Guardians of Rescue. The 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, based in New York,rose to the challenge.

The group isdispatchingseveral members, including its president Robert Misseri,to Ohio, this Saturday. The team of seven Guardians will betravelingtherewith the aim of renovating the facility, undertaking the necessary repairsto make ithospitable to incoming dogs.

“We’ll be down there this Saturday, moving the pens, getting the plumbing and heat in order, painting, and generally getting the place suitable for dogs,” Misseri says.”We’ll also be working with local rescue groups to helpmake it a successful place for adoptions.”

The Guardians are gratefully accepting donations of money and supplies to be used in refurbishing the shelter. “We need to make this a shelter that is worthy of the tireless volunteers who pull dogs from there, so they can continue their work of saving dogs, and pulling more dogs out of there as they come in,”Misseri adds.

The ultimate goal is to help realize The Gentle Barn’s vision of cleaning up Harrison County Pound “so it can eventually be used as an example across the country,” as Weiner explains.

Our kudos go to Jay Weiner of The Gentle Barn,” Misseri adds. “Weappreciate his swift actions and his negotiations in saving these animals’ lives. In this area of Ohio, the surrender rate is drastically higher than the adoption rate, so a lot of dogs will need to be transported from thereto other parts of the state and to other states.”

In the meantime, the Guardians’ repair work will be a lifesaver. “At least the dogs will be warm and safe while rescuers work to pull them,” Misseri says. To make a donation toward the Guardians’ efforts on these dogs behalf, go here.