The Animal Protection League got a phone call from the Madison County Sheriff's Department on April 9 telling us that there was situation at a farm in Summitville.
They said it was bad and to prepare myself. They needed me there the next morning at 8 a.m.
And yes, it was bad. There were more than 165 animals living among at least a hundred dead animals. For many of us it was easier to look at the dead animals rather than the living. Their misery hung in the air.
News crews were there all day long making sure the public knew as much as possible. I felt like we were on reality television. My job as Director of the Animal Protection League, per the Sheriff's Department, was to find places for the living animals to go. At the end of the day we were able to place all the living animals that were catchable. This included rabbits, cats, minis, ponies, sheep, ducks, chickens and pigeons.
We asked this community for help and we got help. I'm still a little amazed that not only did we find places for the animals to go but we were overwhelmed with donations of food, and everything else we needed. We also received very generous financial donations from Hoosier Park, Madison County Farm Bureau and community members so that we could care for these animals. The food alone was estimated at around $300 per week. Many of the animals had to receive veterinary care and later the rabbits and cats were spayed/neutered.
The people who stepped up and took these animals into their care are simply amazing. One was Jill Moore from Pendleton; she took 75 ducks and found great homes for them all. Molly Gunason took the 16 animals with hooves. These animals had lice, mange, thrush and were terribly undernourished. Molly had her work cut out for her and she did it with kindness, love and a great deal of hard work. The Indiana House Society of Rabbits took all the rabbits into their rescue. Knowing the rabbits were with such a great rescue was one less thing we had to worry about. Several others helped us with many of the fowl.
We are happy to announce that we have adopted or placed all 165 animals that we took into our care from the Summitville farm case. We were able to do this because of the overwhelming generosity of this community through donations and the dedicated people who actually took on the responsibility of caring for these animals.
This is going to sound dramatic but this was a dramatic situation; sometimes it takes darkness in order to see the light. As hard as this situation was we as an organization and a community saw the light — we and these animals were showered with it. This community showed both its compassion and its outrage for these animals and what had been done to them.
An enormous amount of gratitude goes to everyone who donated money and or supplies, to those who have helped care for the these animals and to those who have adopted them giving them a second chance.