BIENVILLE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A newly formed local rescue organization stepped up in a big way in early April when the arrest of a Bienville man left his five dogs with no one to care for them.

According to the Humane Society of Louisiana, it all started with a phone call on April 2 from Kevin Martin, who was concerned about the dogs left behind after his brother Stephen was taken to jail on a DUI charge. Kevin Martin said the dogs were too aggressive for anyone to go into the house in the 600 block of Maple Street and give them food and water.

The Humane Society reached out to Brittany Toms, who had recently formed a new local humane group in the area called Lengthy Paws. They say Toms didn’t hesitate to head over to the house to see what they could do.

On April 5, Toms and her brother went to the house and found dogs that they say were far more hungry and scared than they were aggressive. The pair found another dog outside that was tied to a tree deep in the woods behind the house. That dog had wrapped himself around the tree so tightly that he could not move, and was too aggressive for Toms and her brother to untangle.

A tiny white puppy was found semi-conscious curled up in the living room. The small dog appeared to be hungry, dehydrated and too weak to move. The rescuers bundled her up and brought her to a local vet clinic. The vet found that the dog was not only dehydrated and malnourished but also suffering from a parasitic infection, soft tissue infection, and coccidia. She was dewormed and sent home with pain medication and antibiotics. She is also vision and hearing-impaired but expected to make a full recovery.

Toms partnered with the Jonesboro Veterinary Clinic to remove the remaining dogs from the home. The group coaxed three dogs out of the house, caught two that escaped and sedated the dog that was chained to the tree in order to safely remove it.

“We are extremely grateful to Brittany, Ronald, Kelsey, Anna, Dr. Johnson, and her staff for making this rescue happen,” HSLA Director Jeff Dorson said. “Without their intervention, all the dogs and Miracle would likely have perished. Since this rescue operation is not without its costs, I also invited people from the Bienville area to donate a modest amount towards the dogs’ care.”

All five dogs Miracle, Moose, Little Bean, Crunch, Daphne, and Velma will be treated and boarded at the Jonesboro Clinic. HSLA has agreed to pay all costs associated with the rescue of the dogs.

Bienville Parish, like more than a dozen other rural parishes, does not operate an animal shelter nor has personnel who can respond to these types of calls for assistance. HSLA says it is is hoping the legislature during this year’s session will allocate some funds to establish more public shelters, especially in the northern parts of Louisiana.