UPDATE: Hopkins Co. Alaskan Malamutes doing well after rescue in Dawson Springs

UPDATE: Hopkins Co. Alaskan Malamutes doing well after rescue in Dawson Springs
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:29 PM CDT
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HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (WFIE) - It’s one of the worst cruelty cases the humane society has seen in recent memory in Hopkins County.

Officials seized 24 Alaskan Malamutes from a home in Dawson Springs after they say the owner failed to improve ‘deplorable’ conditions for the dogs living at the home.

“This case was one of the top three cases of hoarding, or deplorable living conditions, that I have seen,” said Dustin Potenza, Executive Director for the Hopkins County Humane Society.

[PREVIOUS: Dogs being sold unvaccinated, living in horrible conditions, says KSP]

Potenza says the situation was uninhabitable, with the dogs housed in dark, unventilated kennels and sheds.

“It’s a very long day, a very tiring day, and it’s an emotional rollercoaster,” Potenza said. “You know you’re doing what’s best for the animal, but it’s still an emotional rollercoaster.”

Officials say the owner admitted to making serious money off of the breeding.

“The owner did tell us that she’d average two thousand to three thousand [dollars] per puppy,” Potenza said.

With 18 females seized, in a normal yearly breeding cycle, that would roughly average 180 puppies a year.

“She was not putting any of that money back into the animals.” Potenza said. “All of the animals we took, all the adults we took, were 30 to 40 pounds underweight.”

Potenza says before they took in the malamutes, they were at 91 animals in the shelter.

“We had to shut down in order to re-evaluate our situation and try to lower our population as much as possible,” Potenza said.

Potenza says had it not been for their partner rescue agencies, they’d have no room.

“We get in a situation such as this 24 malamute case, they [rescues] step up and start pulling animals,” Potenza said.

[PREVIOUS: Surrendered malamutes now up for adoption in Hopkins County]

Since they were rescued, the malamutes have been steadily gaining weight and learning to trust again.

Potenza knows although the case is taxing, the end result is always worth it.

“Seeing how the animal would live, versus how the animal did live, it was definitely a rewarding experience,” Potenza said.

Officials say the owner, 58-year-old Nina Holm, faces 24 counts of animal cruelty, which are class A misdemeanors in Kentucky.

If you’re interested in adopting one of the malamutes, or another dog from the shelter, you can visit their website for more information.