Amanda Schutts, 28, of Davenport, never will forget the dozens of rescued dogs.
Some of them needed medical attention, while others were fearful of people.
Regardless of their needs, Schutts, the lead animal control officer at the Humane Society of Scott County, assisted at the scene a week after the dogs — all of which were Samoyeds — were removed from a property in Manly, Iowa.
The Scott County facility helps when the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals needs assistance with an operation involving disasters or criminal issues.
“We received an email asking for assistance. They needed vet techs and vet assistants,” said Shutts, a certified vet assistant.
She spent the day Nov. 19 helping the Samoyeds, which are large herding dogs with thick, white coats of fur.
“It was very interesting,” she said. She was impressed with how many animals were rescued and how organized the process was.
Some of the medical issues involved abscesses on the dogs, and several had runny eyes. Schutts ensured the dogs had the antibiotics they needed.
Some of the dogs have birth defects from inbreeding: One puppy, whose eyes were not fully developed, is blind, she said.
Though Schutts cannot discuss in detail where the animals are being kept because of the ongoing criminal investigation, she did say they are in runs, with bedding, which are big enough for them to move around.
Barbara Kavars, 65, of Manly, owns the land where the dogs were seized. The and was labeled a “puppy mill” operation — a breeding facility where animals are kept in deplorable conditions.
On Nov. 12, Emily Schneider, a spokeswoman for the ASPCA, said about 30 rescuers from all over the country worked from early in the day until past nightfall to remove 170 dogs and four cats from the property.
Schneider described the dogs' environment as having "feces and debris everywhere," adding that the animals, most of which are adults, did not have access to clean drinking water. They were found in overcrowded conditions, with little protection from the elements and the cold.
Deputy Andy Grunhovd, of the Worth County Sheriff’s Department, is handling the case.
Kavars surrendered all but nine dogs and four cats. A disposition hearing in connection with the animals is scheduled for Monday at the Worth County courthouse, said Grunhovd, who was set to appear during the session.
Grunhovd said charges have yet to be filed against Kavars.
Meanwhile, the dogs have been transferred to several different shelters. Nine of the dogs arrived at the Cedar Bend Humane Society in Waterloo, Iowa, said Kristy Gardner, co-director of the organization.
Within 10 days, five of the dogs had already been placed in homes.
Because the dogs were living in overcrowded conditions, they should be adopted by people who have experience with rescue dogs and/or the Samoyed breed, Gardner said. Having another dog in the home is a plus, too, she said.
“They have some socialization challenges,” she said. “And they need to be leash-trained and potty-trained.”
All the dogs have been spayed and neutered, and medically evaluated.
More than 100 adoption applications have come in from all over the United States, including New Jersey, New York, Colorado and Texas, Gardner said.
The dogs most likely will be placed close enough to the shelters where they are being kept that the shelters can serve as a resource for the adoptive families, she said.