Port Clinton shelter gets more 'puppy mill' rescues

You could say that Island Safe Harbor Animal Rescue has been "dogged" about rescuing animals from Holmes County.
Tom Jackson
Jan 20, 2013


The animal sanctuary has now carried out its third and fourth rescues of dogs from that county, bringing the total rescued to 80 and prompting the sanctuary's leaders to appeal for public donations.

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.




Please spay and neuter your pets, and ADOPT, don't SHOP!


Well said MBR!

Capt. Ford

In my youth,I raised 3 litters of labs. the last 18 years have been caring for rescues and castoffs of many different breeds and mixes. That being said, and not to disparage Ms.Brown, what about the spending of rescue dollars to purchase the dogs, and how is this not in some way akin to hoarding, taking in more than one can care for properly?


I wondered the same Capt. Ford. If you have no more room or money to take in these dogs/rescues or care for them properly, why take them in? I know the conditions they are in are deplorable, but if YOU cannot afford to care for them how is it any better? I have adopted 2 dogs. I have no more money to take in more....I know my limit. Maybe if they are in such bad condition and have so many problems a peaceful euthanasia might be the best for the animals.


both of you have raised a great point. One must realize there ARE limitations. Perhaps it is time to start saying NO and send the next batch elsewhere.


also there are animals in Ottawa County that could use rescuing and care. I realize there are thousands of animals all over the country that need help, but one place can't possibly do it all and should be concentrating locally. they could also do some fundraisers like the humane society does, which does not seem to work with this shelter at all.


This organization is very hypocritical. They will rescue animals from outside areas but won't lift a finger to help animals and pet owners within Ottawa county.