FAIRBANKS (AP) The last group of 25 dogs signed over to the Humane Society of the United States by dog collector Richard Hall was euthanized last week.
Six weeks have passed since the Humane Society sent veterinarians to Fairbanks to sterilize and treat many of Hall's nearly 400 dogs. In all, about 125 have been euthanized and 90 have been put in foster care or adopted, one as far away as New York.
''It's the end of a chapter but there's an epilogue coming. There's still a lot of dogs out in foster care,'' said Jeanne Olson, Fairbanks North Star Borough veterinarian and acting animal shelter manager.
The adoption rate for Hall's dogs was at or higher than the rate of adoption at the borough animal shelter, Olson said. ''We did beyond what we do at the shelter. ... We really, really, tried.''
The condition of the almost 200 dogs that remain in Hall's dog yard has improved, but dog food is still needed, Olson said.
Donations of dog food and freezer-burned meat and fish are being accepted at the borough animal shelter, and cash is being accepted at Cold Spot Feeds for the purchase of dog food. Volunteers will buy the food and deliver it to Hall.
Many of Hall's dogs were found ill, malnourished, dehydrated, deformed and unsocialized when the volunteer effort began. Even though some volunteers and neighbors wanted Hall to be prosecuted for cruelty and neglect, the Fairbanks North Star Borough won't charge Hall. That's because he agreed to have the dogs spayed and neutered and has a record of responding to complaints.
Hall, 59, said he appreciated the clinic and the friends who helped him, but is disappointed it turned into a catalyst for a public controversy.
''I probably spend more time with most of these dogs than most people who get home from work and shoo the dog off the couch,'' he said.
On Wednesday night, Olson and Hall drove out to the Salcha dog yard where the last group of dogs in Humane Society custody were being kept and where the property owner was losing patience. The trip was needed so Hall could determine whether any of the animals had been taken without his consent.
Hall, who said he regrets signing the dogs over to the society, took 10 of the dogs and picked out six that a Sacramento-based animal rescue organization is paying to have flown to a no-kill shelter in Oregon. Airline kennels are being sought for shipment of the dogs.
At the Salcha dog yard, Hall asked if the rest would be put down; Olson told him they would. The dogs were euthanized the next morning.
''I'm not sure anybody can take care of 200 dogs, but if anybody can, it is him,'' Olson said. ''I'm still going to be watching over his dogs. He's going to be under scrutiny. He knows that.''
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