BTAA says health of abandoned dogs is improving

SANDPOINT — The Better Together Animal Alliance estimates that “Sugar,” one of 18 husky-type dogs abandoned in the area, had less than a week to live when he was found.

While sugar is getting better, it has a long way to go, BTAA officials said in a press release Friday. The other eight related dogs being cared for at the BTAA have reportedly made great strides since being brought to the shelter.

“We have a treatment plan in place, and it looks like everyone is on the upswing,” said Devin Laundry, BTAA’s director of operations. “It is, with the exception of one dog. Sugar, who was the first dog we got. She is in stable condition but will have a long road ahead of her. We believe she is a week from dying based on her condition when she arrived.” Was away for a few days.

Like eight other Chinese being cared for at BTAA, Sugar is being treated for lower gastrointestinal issues caused in part by parasites and bacteria like E. coli.

In total, the BTAA is caring for nine of the dogs, with the other three being cared for at the Kootenai Humane Society in Hayden. Additional dogs are being cared for at other regional animal shelters or in private homes.

Dogs abandoned over the past few weeks in the Spirit Lake, Blanchard and Athol areas are at the center of an animal neglect case being investigated by the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office. A suspect has been identified, and BCSO officials said they expect to seek criminal charges following the investigation.

In addition to the 18 dogs being cared for in local shelters and private homes, BCSO officials said they have heard there may be additional dogs connected to the case. They ask anyone who has found a husky type dog in the past few weeks to contact the sheriff’s office so they can document where the animals were found, as well as their condition.

BCSO Undersheriff Roar Lakevold said the animals will be released to their caretakers, but information is needed as part of the case.

The sheriff’s office is asking anyone who may have found a husky-type dog but has not yet reported it to the BCSO to contact the county’s dispatch center. They also want anyone who may have seen a person or vehicle “dumping” dogs to contact Bonner County Dispatch at 208-265-5525.

BTAA executive director Mandy Evans said that with the improvement in the dogs’ condition, the facility is working to help any of the dogs being cared for by area residents. He added that due to the seriousness of the infection, it is important that any dogs that may have been part of this case are seen for medical treatment.

“Sugar is a great example of why each and every one of these dogs should be evaluated and treated,” Evans said, adding that the shelter hopes to receive more dogs connected to the case — and will most likely have to euthanize them. Treatment will be required.

“We are expecting to treat anywhere between 15-30 dogs in total at our facility and in homes throughout the community,” he added. so that they can get the care they need. They are welcome to keep dogs at home, but they need to be evaluated for equine infections.

As the dogs’ health improves, Evans said they will be moved to foster homes for about two weeks, provided with everything from leashes and collars to blankets and toys donated by EzyDog, as well as any needed medical supplies. Will be completed with care package. The dogs will continue to receive medical attention and observation by the BTAA’s medical team and may require continued care for some time.

Evans said it is the generosity of the community that is helping the shelter respond to the abandonment of dogs. To date, more than 123 people have donated to the BTAA’s fundraising page on the online platform, raising more than $12,000 as of Saturday evening.

“We are very humbled and grateful for the support,” Evans said. “We are continuing to fundraise and ask for food donations, because we know more dogs will come to us in need of care and supplies. If you haven’t already, please consider donating.”

Info: Better Together Animal Alliance,, or



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