Kilo, Rocky and Tippy are looking for good homes. The three Rottweiler-mix dogs have spent the better part of the last five years in and out of animal shelters in Douglas County as city and county officials leveled fines and pursued charges for t...
Kilo, Rocky and Tippy are looking for good homes.
The three Rottweiler-mix dogs have spent the better part of the last five years in and out of animal shelters in Douglas County as city and county officials leveled fines and pursued charges for the negligent care received from the dogs' former owner.
"We've even tried to train the dogs' owner on the proper care for the dogs," said Chris Wagner, the city's humane officer.
A ruling Monday by Douglas County Circuit Court Judge Kelly Thimm allows the Animal Rescue Federation to place the dogs for adoption.
"When they first came in, to sit and pet them ... you're hands would be black," said Sheila Love, Animal Rescue Federation shelter manager. "They probably hadn't been bathed since they were here last. They didn't seem to be real thin or anything, but they weren't real healthy." Love said Kilo, the female, had a urinary tract infection and all three developed "kennel cough" indicating the dogs' immune systems were compromised.
The dogs were seized in August, less than eight months after they had been returned to owner, Leroy Sorg, 66. Sorg was able to retrieve the animals last year after he was acquitted on charges of intentionally failing to provide proper shelter and water for his animals, then, the three Rottweilers and five puppies. Two of the puppies had to be euthanized because of poor health, but three were adopted, Love said.
The mature dogs were seized again in August when they were found, two living in the crowded cab of a pickup truck packed with possessions, rotting food and garbage. The third was found tied to the truck bed, filled with furnishings and other possessions.
A number of complaints were lodged about the living conditions of the dogs over the summer, according to Love and Wagner. Love said she filed a complaint herself after witnessing Sorg driving around in the pickup truck with Rocky teethered to the truck and standing on debris that filled the truck's bed.
"He was standing on the pile of garbage and chained to the truck as he was driving around and pulling a trailer," Love said. She said it would have been very easy for the dog to be knocked off the truck and potentially run over by trailer.
Wagner said she received 20 to 30 complaints in connection with Sorg's dogs last summer.
Sorg was not charged after the dogs were seized in August.
"These same allegations were made several years ago at which time a jury found that the dogs were not mistreated," Sorg wrote in a petition filed Aug. 21 with the Douglas County Clerk of Courts office, seeking the return of his animals.
Last year, a Douglas County jury found Sorg not guilty of five counts of intentionally failing to provide proper shelter and water for his animals. However, Sorg had previously entered no contest pleas to charges of failing to provide food and care to his animals leveled in 2001 and 2006, and a cruelty to animals charge filed in 2007, the same year he was charged with the five counts for which he was acquitted later.
Love said she has no doubt that Sorg, who has come to visit the dogs in the shelter, loves the dogs; he's just not capable of caring for them. Still, she said, the dogs need a good home. Rocky, in particular, is starting to show signs that his stay at the shelter is bringing him down, she said.
Recently, staff put Kilo in the same kennel with Rocky to improve his spirit.
Getting the dogs adopted is a priority for ARF, which has spent about $5,700 to care for the animals according to court records.
While the typical adoption fee for the dogs would be $165, Love said they would be willing to negotiate the fee to get the dogs into good homes.
The shelter is open noon to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. ARF does have an application process and there is typically a 24-hour wait to adopt the animals, Love said. She said while Kilo has been spayed, Tippy and Rocky would still need to be neutered.
While no charges were filed in connection with the most recent incident, Thimm found probable cause to believe Sorg failed to provide adequate shelter for the dogs as required by state statutes during a Sept. 30 hearing. Thimm denied Sorg's petition to have the dogs returned to him.
Monday, the judge ruled on a petition filed by the city of Superior to allow the dogs to be adopted. Thimm ruled it is in the best interest of the animals, owner and the city to allow the city to deal with the disposition of the animals.