Illegal Animal Rescue Exposed Animals To Viruses

Apple Valley - Mary Ryan case ABy Staff Reports

(Apple Valley)– A fifth puppy has died despite aggressive life saving efforts to stabilize puppies seized from a self-proclaimed animal rescuer in Apple Valley.

Within days of seizing 26 dogs from the Sholic Court home of Mary Ryan, Town officials received documentation that a puppy adopted from Ryan had tested positive for several canine viruses. Ryan had been advised of positive test results as early as July 2013 and other puppies belonging to her unpermitted home-based rescue died during this same month. Ryan identifies herself as the founder of German Shepherd Angels Rescue.

Animal Services staff requested medical history and vaccination documentation for the seized animals the day they were impounded, and again at the post-seizure hearing on October 11, when Ryan claimed all animals were current on shots.  When proof of vaccination was not received, all impounded animals were vaccinated. Two puppies died on October 19 and 20 at which time the supervising veterinarian placed all remaining dogs on antibiotics, with puppies also receiving IV fluids and daily injections of antibiotics.  Three more puppies have died since then, bringing the total to five.

Apple Valley - Mary Ryan case B

“Vaccinations protect dogs from rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and other communicable viruses,” Animal Services Manager Gina Schwin-Whiteside said. “The importance of vaccines cannot be understated, especially when adult dogs and puppies are housed together, and when they are frequently transferred among kennels and homes.”

The deceased puppies, as well as three dead dogs removed from a freezer at Ryan’s home during the seizure of the 26 dogs, will be given necropsies to determine cause of death.  The seized dogs are being housed in isolation at the shelter and will continue to be monitored.

Animal Services has also received reports that some of these dogs were previously housed in private boarding kennels or homes. Individuals that believe they adopted from German Shepherd Angels, or boarded dogs from this entity, are encouraged to contact their veterinarian or the Apple Valley Municipal Animal Shelter at (760) 240-7000 x 7555 for guidance on disinfecting their property to insure the viruses do not spread.

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