Abandoned by their owners: Tragedy of the Iowa ‘forest dogs’

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When two hikers called Amy Heinz, the founder of AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport, and told her they found dozens of abandoned dogs in a south-central Iowa forest, Heinz and other volunteers of the rescue organization went out in search of the “forest dogs” to rescue them. The rescue efforts to save the dogs started just over a week ago.

According to the Facebook page of the AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport, and the Des Moines Register, last weekend seven of nearly 20 dogs were able to be captured using McDonald’s mcmuffins as bait. The group, however had not given up, and updates have been optimistic:

“Forest dogs update: We failed to catch any dogs today but we did find one little tiny kitten out in the woods alone. We couldn’t find any other kittens and we searched for any possible puppies. No sign of either. I counted at least four females and three males left in the area. They have figured out the traps and will not go in far enough for the traps to trigger. One actually went in the trap did not work so we went old school and put a stick with a rope attached but they wouldn’t go in far enough. The good news is the female in heat is out of heat and the boys are leaving her alone. The bad news is she is probably pregnant. We will have to change up our strategy tomorrow. Stay tuned for more.”

People living in the area adjacent to the forest refer to the abandoned dogs as “throwouts.” Some of the dogs rescued had fresh wounds from being attacked by other dogs. One female dog in heat had been constantly attacked from the males. All of the rescued dogs were covered in fleas and are being treated for Lyme disease. All suffer varying degrees of neglect.

Jess Flatt, a forester for the state, said she has never received complaints about dogs being dumped in the forest, but added that adjoining the 15,000 acres of Iowa forest the state manages, it is surrounded by thousands of acres owned by private people and dogs have often been seen roaming there.

The remaining five smartest dogs continue to elude the rescuers, but it’s not over yet. On Wednesday, tactics to outsmart the clever canine denizens of the forest are being formulated.

“AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport  We did not realize that six of the dogs actually had a home there with a person that lives out there. Then we caught 10, another person caught one and there are five left. That makes 22.”

Advocates have expressed their gratitude to Amy and all of the volunteers. Everyone is sure once the dogs are rescued, cared for and loved, they will find forever homes. thus losing the “forest dogs” moniker.

Video #1:

Forest Dogs: This is where the quote came from “So close yet so far away.”

Posted by AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport on Friday, August 17, 2018

Video #2 (When someone cares)

Forest Dogs – Irwin: Some of the forest dogs are coming out of their shells quicker than others. Irwin has decided he really does like to be pet and he loves kisses on top of his head. I think they are going to be just fine! Thank you Lord!

Posted by AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport on Wednesday, August 15, 2018

AHeinz57 is taking donations to help with the medical care of the rescued dogs.

People can donate on their Facebook page, website or send a check to P.O. Box 188. De Soto, IA 50069.

Angels live among us. (Photos and videos Facebook via Heinz57 Pet Rescue)

Read more animal news and find the latest updates at the National Pet Rescue.

In the news yesterday: Young dog described as “playgroup rock star” on the list to be put down. Read the story here.

Positive news: Chubby cat who stole the heart of the nation has found a new home – read more here!

Get your puppy fix – sweet Dane falls asleep while eating strawberries. Watch it here!

Puppy reunited with mom – watch the heartwarming video here.


5 replies
  1. Adrienne says:

    Hope they can find the rest of these abandoned dogs and also to who their owners are and prosecute them. Set up cameras to see who is doing this to their so called pets. Something must be done to these vile creatures who do this to their pets.


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