Animals taken from Occidental home ready for new homes
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 1:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 7:34 a.m.
About two dozen dogs and two cats among a large group of animals seized at an Occidental home where a woman ran an unofficial rescue operation are now available for adoption.
The animals have been in custody since Aug. 8, when animal control officers raided the property of Nola Beecher. The officers took 77 dogs and the two cats from the property, where they also found uninhabitable conditions.
The animals were treated for mostly minor afflictions, such as skin and upper respiratory issues, abscessed teeth and ear mites, said Amy Cooper, Sonoma County Animal Care and Control director.
"Given the environment in which they were kept, they are in reasonable condition," Cooper said.
County staff were assessing each animal's behavior and most exhibited "very good" temperament, Cooper said.
All animals were given rabies shots and identifying micro chips, and, if needed, were spayed or neutered, vaccinated and treated for worms and fleas.
On Wednesday, about two dozen dogs and two cats were well enough to be made available for adoption and were posted on the county's online adoption system.
"The lobby was quite full. Word has spread quickly," Cooper said. "We have had so much community interest in these animals."
Shelter staff submitted a report on each animal's well-being to the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office. Prosecutors were still reviewing the case and had not yet determined whether to file criminal charges against Beecher.
Beecher, 66, apparently was taking in animals for at least a decade and running a rescue operation she called Wing and a Prayer Rescue. Her son Noah Beecher has said his mother took good care of the animals over the years and had only recently taken on more than she could handle.
Several neighbors regularly complained about a stench of feces, barking and other noises and odors emanating from the property.
The raid was prompted by an official complaint lodged by a neighbor the week before.
Officers encountered "all kinds of dogs, and I do mean all kinds," Cooper said. "Purebreds, a lot of mixes, a lot of Chihuahuas, Australian and German shepherd mixes, cocker spaniels, Jack Russells, a little bit of everything."
The two domestic shorthair cats are about 8 and 10 years old, and one is "particularly affectionate," Cooper said.
Beecher officially relinquished the dogs and cats after the raid, and her Highland Road home was red-tagged as uninhabitable.
All the animals had been treated by a veterinarian.
Adoptions are being handled by the Sonoma County Animal Shelter. Contact shelter supervisor Cathy McCafferty for additional information about the animals and adoption at 565-7109, or email@example.com.
Adoptable animals are also listed on the shelter's website at www.sonoma-county.org/shelter/adoptables.htm.
Shelter officials requested donations to help cover the cost of feeding and treating the animals. Donations can be mailed to Sonoma County Animal Care and Control, 1247 Century Court, Santa Rosa, 95403. Indicate "Animal Welfare Fund" on the memo line.
(You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 521-5220 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
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