40 Dogs in Delaware County, Ohio Were Rescued From Horrific Conditions, Thanks to a Viral Video · The Wildest

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40 Dogs Were Rescued From Horrific Conditions, Thanks to a Viral Video

TikTok played a huge role in helping to free these pups.

by Sio Hornbuckle
April 10, 2024
Pit Bull chained up outside in a dirty yard.
mgstudyo / iStock

A lot can be said about the drawbacks of social media, but every once in a while, all that doom scrolling ends up saving the day. This week, a TikTok went viral for exposing a home that had over forty dogs kept in abusive conditions — and after hundreds of calls from concerned viewers, the authorities stepped in and got the pups to safety.

How a viral video set the rescue in motion

The video, posted three days ago, showed an overcrowded backyard where dozens of dogs were chained near puddles of water. Some of the dogs were pulling on their chains, while others stood resigned — one heartbreaking pup stayed perfectly still on a short chain, staring at the water.

“Law and animal control has been called and multiple reports have been made by different people, the dog warden just brushes it off and when my fiancé went to the sheriff, he laughed in his face like it was a joke,” the videos’ text read. In the caption, the poster pleaded: “#help #helpmeout #helpme #helptheseanimals.”

Viewers were quick to leap into action. “Who can we call to make them do something?! I’m willing to call whoever to get action taken ASAP,” one user asked. Another was willing to travel there themself: “I’m an hour and 23 minutes. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.” After the video went viral, one user added, “Called the sheriffs department and they received over 500 calls. Good job guys. Hopefully these babies can have a new life soon.” 

The rescue

After the outpouring of requests, the sheriff’s office and the Humane Society of Delaware County stepped in to remove the forty dogs from the home, reported . 

Kelly Lewis, who works with a nonprofit called Rico Pet Recovery (RPC), told that social media posts alerted the organization to the situation. “Past couple of days we’ve had a uproar on TikTok and social media posts that went viral,” she said. “No dog should be living in the case that they’re living in out here — there’s no food, no water, they’re tethered with a four-inch chain that’s pretty thick.”

The nonprofit is currently assisting with the care of the rescued pups. “THANK YOU to everyone who has messaged our page this morning,” Rico Pet Recovery posted on their Facebook page. “We have, as asked by the dog warden in Delaware County, worked with other agencies and our amazing fosters to find space for the dogs who were already in the county shelter.” 

An outpouring of donations came in, and Rico Pet Recovery was able to purchase new bowls, food, collars, and other supplies for the dogs. “[The dogs] still need to stay in the county facility a little longer, but life is good,” RPC posted. 

Mitchell Garrett, the Delaware County Dog Warden, said in a statement that the county had been aware of the property for years, but they had previously only found six dogs in good health, and they needed a witness statement — which was finally received last Friday — in order to raid the property. The owner of the home is still awaiting charges as the case is under investigation, but Garrett is hopeful that he will be charged soon. 

Sio Hornbuckle

Sio Hornbuckle is a writer living in New York City with their cat, Toni Collette.

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