Kansas shelter Unleashed Pet Rescue under state investigation

MISSION, Kan. — Gillian Gollehon, a Lenexa resident, sat in her car exterior Unleashed Pet Rescue in Mission, gagging.

She experienced just picked up a dog named Dexter to acquire residence and foster. She stated she couldn’t even near her auto door owing to a terrible stench lingering on the animal.

“They brought out Dexter and as quickly as that door opened, I was like, ‘Pew,’” she claimed.

Her fears about the smell were shortly overshadowed by what she saw after she took off Dexter’s vest to give him a bath. 

The vest he was donning, identified as a Thundershirt, is normally worn by canine having difficulties with stress. Gollehon reported it was so tight, she couldn’t get it off without the need of slicing it with a pair of scissors.

“As I was cutting, the scent just retained receiving even worse and even worse, and we experienced to quit a several periods,” she mentioned. “Her (Gollehon’s daughter) and I ended up just gagging bring about we’re like, ‘Oh my god, what is this?’”

Gollehon explained the vest was gooey and wet. Right after peeling the vest off Dexter, what she located stunned her and her daughter to their cores.

“It’s like purple and wet and pores and skin,” she stated. “It’s just like irritated pores and skin and no hair.”

When Gollehon attained the shelter a number of several hours later on, she had absent from upset to offended.

“’How numerous of you walked earlier his kennel and ignored that odor? Or does the shelter stink so lousy that you guys couldn’t understand that anything was wrong?’” she recalled inquiring.

Gollehon is 1 of 8 persons who spoke to FOX4 Trouble Solvers worried about Unleashed Pet Rescue, a lot of of them giving photographs and films displaying pet dog bowls full of cockroaches, wounded or sick animals and a behind-the-scenes appear at the worker-only sections of the constructing, one of individuals regions currently being wherever they property the dogs.

Gollehon, who has fostered around 20 pet dogs from Unleashed Pet Rescue, said even she has never been allowed to wander by way of locations of the shelter the place canines reside. But those people who have are now sharing their stories.

“There ended up as well numerous canines to sufficiently get the very best care of them and get them out of their small spaces for much more than, I imply, some of them only bought out 15 minutes full of the day,” Karen Swanson, former manager at Unleashed Pet Rescue, claimed.

Swanson explained she quit the task last calendar year, citing overcrowding and inadequate administration as vital aspects in her selection to leave.

“If any person talked about there being also several puppies, she (the operator) would demonstrate us photos of puppies that she refused to choose and explain to us how now individuals puppies are dead simply because we didn’t choose them, so she wasn’t really open up to listening to about the genuine actuality of our condition,” Swanson explained.

Another former personnel stated though she was performing there, two pet dogs escaped and had been strike by cars and trucks. She blamed damaged shelter doorways that she says employees struggled to keep repaired.

“I just do not see the adore or the enthusiasm there anymore, or canine wouldn’t be obtaining strike by cars and trucks simply because of good reasons that could have been, should have been, prevented and continue to is a dilemma,” said Terra Merys, a former personnel.

Danielle Reno, owner of Unleashed Pet Rescue, said she doesn’t recall any problem where canine were being strike by automobiles.

“Every at the time in a when, pet dogs have gotten unfastened just like they would wherever else, and if they do get loose, we locate them and provide them property,” Reno mentioned.

Reno acknowledged that there are troubles, together with what occurred to Dexter.

“One of our workers placed a ThunderShirt on him to support with his nervousness, but because he drools, it was damp suitable right here (chest) and rubbed his pores and skin raw,” she said.

She explained the shirt ought to have been adjusted every day. The staff was disciplined and new procedures have been adopted, she stated.

Reno invited Difficulty Solvers on a tour of the facility to demonstrate how clear it is. At the time, there had been 37 grownup dogs in the shelter.

That is not such as the quantity of kittens, puppies and grownup cats housed in the shelter. It also does not include things like animals presently positioned in foster treatment.

But a six-calendar year overview of condition inspection reviews from the Kansas Division of Agriculture Division of Animal Well being reveals that for Unleashed Pet Rescue, 37 dogs is remarkably low.

In 2022 on your own, Unleashed Pet Rescue was inspected at the very least five situations. During each individual inspection, data reveals the variety of adult canine housed in the shelter in no way stayed under 65.

In March, the facility had 91 grownup puppies. In September, it experienced 89, condition inspections confirmed.

Swanson reported she labored there concerning January and April of 2022. She stated there had been wherever from 80 to 100 canines housed in the facility at a time through her work.

Merys, one more previous employee, said she was employed between November 2021 and April 2022.

“On the board of all the adult pet dogs in the kennels, upwards of 120 canines at a time, and which is not together with what was heading on with puppies and issues like that,” she claimed. “That was just grownup puppies, and I assume the largest variety I walked into and opened by myself was 118.”

But Reno denied the figures often getting that significant.

“There have been times where it’s been tough and we have been very comprehensive but we function to maintain this quantity (37 canines) at where it is,” she mentioned.

The shelter was considered unsatisfactory in Oct by a condition inspector after surfaces, drainage, spacing, ventilation and waste disposal ended up not in compliance with condition code.

There had been various personnel cleansing and caring for the animals when Issue Solvers visited the facility, but our take a look at was not a surprise. Reno realized we were coming.

“Every doggy that you see in this article would be dead if we did not choose them right here, each and every solitary a person,” Reno said.

Reno claimed the facility is doing work with quite a few contractors to get the building up to code. Throughout our pay a visit to, a tarp included the roof, one thing Reno stated she’s making an attempt to increase adequate money to pay back for.

Irrespective of the initiatives Reno says she’s building to boost shelter conditions, long-time supporters, like Gollehon, say they won’t be again.

“I consider, finally, they need to have to be held accountable,” Gollehon claimed. “I feel that there is no regulation that seriously is checking on them constantly and I consider that they just patch issues up when they know somebody’s coming to look at them.”

This is not the very first time Unleashed Pet Rescue has been in the news.

In 2019, just one of more than 20 pet dogs Reno imported from Egypt analyzed beneficial for rabies though living with a family members that was fostering the canine for Unleashed Pet Rescue. Authorities tested and quarantined all the dogs and found no other circumstances.

In 2018, Reno was charged with felony deprivation of assets immediately after she refused to return a dropped puppy back again to its proprietor.

The Kansas Section of Agriculture and the Mission Law enforcement Department’s Pet Regulate Division are currently investigating the shelter. Reno reported she and her attorney are thoroughly cooperating.