Working with an intermediary who has contacts at "puppy mills" in Holmes County, the shelter rescued 12 dogs on Jan. 5 and 11 dogs on Saturday, said Nancy Benevento-Brown, CEO of Island Safe Harbor.
Saturday's dogs were in much the same condition as dogs the shelter previously rescued from Holmes County, said Carolyn Snider, a volunteer for Island Safe Harbor.
"They were all dirty, long nails, dirty teeth, full of feces," Snider said. "These ones had a lot of ear infections compared with some of the last ones."
When the shelter received the dogs, it immediately bathed them, trimmed their hair, cut their nails and cleaned out their ears, she said.
Island Safe Harbor felt it had little choice but to take the dogs in, Benevento-Brown said.
"If we don't take these dogs, they will be destroyed and it will not be a pretty death because they shoot them," she said. "We've got documentation to this effect from the intermediary."
Many of the dogs have hernias from being used for breeding over and over again, she said.
She said the shelter doesn't take in dogs just because an owner is tired of them.
"I want to stress that we're not a dumping ground," she said.
The sanctuary's efforts have strained the shelter's ability to rescue any more dogs, said Benevento-Brown, founder of Island Safe Harbor. The animals shelter is at 3620 E. State St. in Port Clinton, across from Erie-Ottawa Regional Airport.
Want to help?
Donors can make checks payable to ISHAS, sending them to the corporate office at 2337 S. Linda Dr., Marblehead OH 43440. Information on the group is available at islandshas.wix.com/i.
Island Safe Harbor badly needs laundry detergent, scented liquid fabric softener, bleach, Pine-Sol (regular pine scent), small and medium collars, gas cards and money, shelter officials said.