Sheriff’s Office shuts down RUFFF, fate of 180 animals to be decided
‘Nobody was aware’
GOLDEN VALLEY – The fate of roughly 180 dogs and cats hangs in the balance after Mohave County authorities closed shop on the Rescued Unwanted Furry Friends Foundation animal sanctuary Thursday afternoon.
Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control officers, deputies and county building inspectors converged on the Laguna Road property at approximately 2 p.m. Sanctuary volunteers who had alerted the Miner were on the scene watching over the outside animals, but there were still animals inside shelter owner Hillarie Allison’s home. Building inspectors went inside with caretaker Rob Turner, all in protective masks. They came out minutes later and the inspectors condemned the house, declaring it uninhabitable.
According to Turner, at least 14 dogs and four cats had been living inside with Allison, who was taken to Kingman Regional Medical Center in the early hours of Monday morning for an undisclosed illness. Paramedics alerted county officials to unsanitary conditions after taking her to the hospital.
“Nobody was aware of the situation inside,” Turner said.
The volunteers had described piles of feces and trash. Turner said most of the dogs bolted from the house the minute he opened the front door.
“They wanted out,” he said.
During the course of an hour, Turner and two animal control officers wrangled the two remaining inside dogs and two cats. Other animals from the front yard were loaded into animal control vehicles. As of Thursday night, two cats remained hidden inside the home and animal control had set traps to catch them.
Turner also said power to the property would be shut off despite worries over desert looters. However, since he and volunteers run a daylight only operation, “shutting down power doesn’t affect our ability to help the outside animals.”
There were goats and chicken on the site at one point, but a volunteer (who herself had taken ownership of the six chickens) confirmed the goats had been taken. There is no word on what will happen to the still to be tallied outside dogs and cats.
“Those determinations aren’t mine to make,” Turner said. “But it was good to get the dogs and cats out of the house.”
Mohave County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Trish Carter said she anticipates an official statement Friday.