Nearly 200 neglected dogs seized from Illinois property

Dogs for sale not delivered; woman charged with animal cruelty

Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Nearly 200 neglected dogs seized from Illinois property
Most of the animals were collies.

MERCER COUNTY, Ill. -- Authorities in Illinois recently seized nearly 200 neglected dogs from a property in rural Mercer County, near the Iowa border.

Most of the animals were collies, KWQC reported.

The dogs urgently need care and rehabilitation, and, when word got out, support poured in.

That includes help from a local vet.

"The most important medications we've given are food, water and love," Dr. Jeremy Joy said.

He said medical staff spent three days examining each rescued Mercer County pet, prescribed medication, updated vaccines and scanned microchips.

"We did see a lot of conditions that needed treatment -- couldn't tell you if they're under treatment, but one of the biggest things was being very thin, poor nutrition and dehydration," Joy said.

Another challenge was gaining the dogs' trust.

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"They were never used to walking on a leash as far as we could tell. So we physically carried most of them from, you know, 3 or 400 yards away to the transfer vehicles," he said.

Several breed-specific rescues from states, such as Ohio, Minnesota and Wisconsin have crossed state borders to offer assistance.

"Breed-specific rescues understand the traits and the issues that there are with their breed that they work with. So we're able to know what it is that collies are going to need to be rehabilitated from a situation like this. They don't traditionally do well in a shelter setting because they're so sensitive. We would like to help the animal control here, get them into appropriate situations where they can be in homes and be rehabilitated and get the love," said Sarah Rebernick, with Minnesota-Wisconsin Collie Rescue.

Joy said the dogs are progressing.

"And you go in the pens now, after a few days, you bend down, you got five of 'em on top of you trying to get some love. Food, water and love are powerful medication," he said.

The dogs were forfeited after Mercer County prosecutors ordered them seized.

Karen Plambeck, 59, was arrested last week and is facing felony animal cruelty charges. It's unclear if prosecutors are calling the operation a puppy mill, but Plambeck was accused of not delivering dogs that she had sold.