DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A pet rescue organization has been finding and treating unwanted dogs that have been dumped in a central Iowa forest.
AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport discovered last week that dogs were routinely dumped in the forest, abandoned by people who no longer wanted them, said CEO Amy Heinz.
The organization was able to trap seven dogs over the weekend, but 20 more are still gathered in packs in the forest, The Des Moines Register reported. There are generations of dogs living in the forest, Heinz said.
"People have weird ideas," she said. "They think, 'My dog would love to run around a farm. I'm just going to let it out on somebody's farm and the dog will live happily ever after.' No your dog is going to be shot by the farmer."
Several of the rescued dogs have fresh wounds. They are being treated for ticks and Lyme disease, according to Heinz. She declined to release the name of the forest out of fear people will try looking for the dogs.
Abandoning pets is illegal in Iowa and is considered a simple misdemeanor under state code.
"There's no reason to dump a dog. None," Heinz said. "There's so many better ways to get your dog help."
The organization is taking donations to help with the dogs' medical care.
Heinz started the organization 10 years ago after witnessing someone dump a dog on the on-ramp to Interstate 80 at U.S. Highway 169. She adopted the dog and named her Grace