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Paw In Hand Rescue Organization Shut Down By State Veterinarian
By Cheryl Killam 9-9-13

A Raymond-based  non-profit animal rescue organization, Wag In Hand Rescue, doing business as Paw In Hand (www.pawinhand.org), run out of  16 Lincoln Road, Raymond, was set up in front of Tractor Supply in Brentwood  taking donations and applications from potential dog adopters on Saturday, September 7.

Paw in Hand had four black Labrador retriever mix puppies and two other pit-bull mix puppies between 10 to 15 weeks old in a pen, bouncing around playing with each other  for people to see.  A can was on the table with donation checks sitting inside while adoption applications were on a clipboard for interested adopters to fill out.

Mike Rheaume and Megan Arnst were answering questions about how old the puppies  were, what kind they were and where they came from.  

Rheaume said,  “ The puppies come out of kill shelters in South Carolina. We drive down once a month to shelters in Greenville, S.C., and pick up 13 to 15 dogs that need homes, bringing them to New Hampshire, including Moms with puppies. The dogs are brought to our veterinarian, Suncook River Veterinarian Clinic in Epsom, for general medical checks, including neutering and spaying as early as 12 weeks old, prior to releasing them to the adopter.

“We take $100 down payment to reserve a puppy and it takes two weeks for the application process to check out the adopter," Rheaume said. “After they have been approved, the adoption fee is $290, and all medical issues are covered prior to adoption.”

However on Tuesday September 10,  Dr. Fiona Reeve of Suncook River Veterinarian Clinic said, " We only saw between 8 to 10 dogs. We did not spay or neuter any of the PIH dogs. PIH still owes Suncook River Veterinarian Clinic a lot of money for the three puppies that we quarantined and unfortunately had to euthanize."  

Rheaume said they began the rescue organization because, “My Mom, Gail Brown, has a soft spot for dogs and I grew up with seven or eight dogs in the house. She fostered for Pet Tails Rescue in Northwood and decided to open her own rescue group. We have taken in and adopted out about 30 dogs since we began three months ago,  with more dogs available in foster care.”

During this interview,  four women walked up to the tent and picked up puppies, checking them over. One of the women, Jennifer Weibring, a member of the Board of Directors of Peoples Animal Welfare Service to the Rescue (an Illinois not-for-profit), d/b/a "P.A.W.S. to the Rescue" (PAWSTTR), Marion County Animal Shelter, Mullins, S.C., introduced herself as the Rescue Adoption Coordinator who worked with Paw In Hand to bring the dogs and puppies to New Hampshire.

Weibring decided to visit' she said, because she started getting messages about Paw In Hand. She said she heard the group took eight puppies from Whiteville Shelter in Whiteville, N.C., and dropped them off at a veterinarian/boarding kennel in North Carolina six weeks ago and have abandonded them, and they aren’t answering the phone calls from the veterinarian.”

“They have had these six puppies for three weeks," Weibring said, "and they are bloated, scabby, are losing their fur and are dehydrated.”   

Weibring called the Brentwood Police Department for assistance in reclaiming  all the adult dogs and puppies not adopted yet that she had coordinated with Paw in Hand, she said, “since PTTR has legal ownership of the dogs and PIH had broken their contract by keeping dogs in crates in the basement for too long, not doing home visits on approved adopters and that these dogs did not go into quarantine.”

Paula Bonasaro , of Groveland, fostered Lelo for PIH and took photographs of the dogs for the Facebook page, said she saw up to 30 dogs in crates in the Paw in Hand basement of the Browns home. Bonasaro said, “I think those donations  to Paw In Hand should not be allowed to go to a personal Pay-Pal account,  they should go directly to the veterinarian covering the animals medical care.”

Cheryl Carson of Middleboro, Mass., a transporter and adoption coordinator for PAWSTTR joined Weibring  because, she said,  “we are concerned about  the dogs being kept in crates in the basement. Some of the dogs are special needs dogs and that’s not right.”

Cathrine Brown from Paw In Hand arrived at Tractor Supply to address the issue with  Brentwood Police Chief Wayne Robinson and Weibring, bringing with her Babette, the mother of three 16-week-old pitbull-mix puppies.

An attempt was made to talk with Cathrine Brown at the Tractor Supply parking lot and she refused to comment.

Paw in Hand's Facebook page at  https://www.facebook/pawinhand.org/info   posted their regret over two litters of puppies they had that died. The facebook page was removed on Monday, Sept 9.  

When Raymond Animal Control Officer Tona McCarthy was contacted by Weibring for assistance to acquire any dogs still at the residence in Raymond, McCarthy  said he was surprised to hear they were set up in Brentwood. He said, “ they were shut down last week, because the NH State Veterinarian revoked their license for not having zoning approval from the town per RSA 437:3" McCarthy said, "when he visited the home every crate was clean and the dogs looked fine."

Brown agreed to give up the remaining dogs kept at the residence if the exchange took place at the Raymond McDonald's parking lot. The first exchange was for one dog,  Maxine(above), an older special needs dog.

Brown returned home for more dogs, and Weibring told Raymond Area News that Brown said she would not give up the dogs if Raymond Area News was present. Weibring and Carson left the McDonald's parking lot to pick up four more dogs in the Ben Franklin parking lot across route 102/107.

In total 11 dogs were reclaimed: Babette (above), a pit-bull mix and her three puppies; four black Labrador retriever mix puppies; a hound-shepherd mix; a female pit bull and Maxine, the elderly special needs dog. All were taken to the Emergency Veterinarian in Brentwood for health check-ups.

Any remaining dogs are to be removed from the property by Monday Sept. 9, or they would be taken to the NHSPCA (New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in Stratham, according to McCarthy.  

The results received from the Brentwood veterinarian on Sunday morning, showed that all of the puppies were positive for Coccidia, small one-celled organisms that live in the intestinal tracts of dogs.

On Sunday afternoon, the PAWSTTR brought all 11 dogs to the Center for Advanced Veterinary Care in Manchester to quarantine them, spay and medicate them to get them healthy for adoption. Weibring said, "The loss of fur on the white puppies is diagnosed as sarcoptic mange and the black puppies are diagnosed with canine influenza, all the puppies had tape worms and the expenses for these dogs could go over $3000."

Lelo was put into quarantine for 48 hours since she came in contact with the other puppies at the Tractor Supply parking lot, but she hopefully will be going to her new home in Epping with Brent Marshall soon.

The P.A.W.S. To The Rescue facebook page with their information about the reclaimed dogs and puppies is https://www.facebook.com/PawsToTheRescueAtMarionCountyAnimalShelter .

P.A.W.S to the Rescue, Marion County Animal Shelter, Mullins, S.C. is not affiliated with Wag In Hand Rescue, d/b/a  Paw In Hand, Raymond, NH in any way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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