The Animal Orphanage volunteers return from a long journey

Gina, seen with volunteer Tony Todd, is one of four dogs brought back from the Spindletop Refuge raid, Monday, July 30.

Volunteers from the Animal Orphanage in Voorhees returned from a 3-day journey of a lifetime to Texas on Thursday, May 26. The arrival home was a relief; all four dogs were safely back where they belong and a welcome home party set up for the volunteers and dogs.

Milky, Chaz, Theodore and Gina returned home after an unknown experience from the Spindletop Rescue facility.

According to Shelter Director Christine Todd, the Animal Orphanage sent the four pit bulls there because the facility and its owner were highly regarded in pit bull behavioral techniques and knowledge.

“This place is the last resort for animals with behavioral issues,” Todd said.

Spindletop is a well-known rescue group in Willis, Texas. Montgomery County law officials, due to alleged negligence, seized approximately 300 dogs from the property, according to Todd.

Still shocked by the outcome of the situation, Todd explained that the condition of the Animal Orphanage’s dogs does not compare to the other dogs that were seized from Spindletop.

Gina, 5-year-old pit bull, was in the best condition out of the four dogs. Gina was sent to Spindletop in Nov. 2011 and supposedly was adopted in July 2011. Todd was surprised to hear that Gina was still at Spindletop.

Gina was under weight with an ear infection, while the other dogs are still in quarantine.

Tony Todd and Gina take a quick rest from their walk, Monday, July 30.

Todd said that the dogs are going to be separated from the other dogs until they can get back into the swing of shelter life.

“Some dogs were damaged prior to us sending them, and they are still not right,” Todd said.

Luckily, Gina passed her behavioral examination and is adoptable to families with children over the age of 10. She runs two miles with her running partner and volunteer, Tony Todd, practically everyday.

“She is a great running partner,” Todd said.

The Animal Orphanage is a no-kill shelter. Posted on a sign as you enter the Animal Orphanage is “every dog has its day.”

Todd explained that, along with many of the staff members, she believe that the dogs they sent to the Spindletop Refuge, as well as all the animals in the shelter, deserve a chance.

Volunteers Mike Hoffman and Joanne Collier tagged along for the 3-day drive to recover the dogs.

“We don’t send [the dogs] out of space,” said Hoffman. “We send them out of compassion.”

Both Hoffman and Collier took the 26 hours’ worth of driving to Texas as a mission.

Collier said that those dogs needed to be returned, and it was their responsibility to make sure they are well taken care of.

According to Todd, Montgomery County Animal Control, Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Farm Foundation and the law officials “collaborated beautifully” with the Orphanage volunteers to make sure all the dogs returned safely.

Unfortunately, many dogs are still waiting to be located. A Facebook page was created to make sure all the dogs are safely recovered. For more information about the Spindletop Refuge dogs, visit the Victims of Spindletop Raid page at www.facebook.com/VictimsOfSpindletopRaid.

Check out the video of the volunteers returning home - Animal orphanage.

About Kristina Scala

Kristina Scala, a Brooklyn native, has moved her way down the state, finally settling in South Jersey. She graduated in 2012 from Rowan University with a bachelors in journalism and English. She enjoys covering sports, politics and local happenings. Kristina can be reached at kscala@elauwit.com.View all posts by Kristina Scala