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Abandoned Lansford pups ready for adoption

Workers at the Carbon County Animal Shelter love Zelda and her nine puppies, but they’re ready to see them off and into good homes.

At 9 weeks old, they’re a handful and a half.

Shelter manager Tom Connors said they go to the veterinarian today, and they could be in their forever homes as soon as Wednesday.

Lots of folks are interested in them, too, after learning how a malnourished Zelda and three of her puppies were reported as abandoned by the Lansford woman who was caring for them.

Police charged the woman with cruelty and neglect and reunited Zelda with the other six puppies from the litter.

All 10 dogs - mom and the nine pups - are doing well, Connors said.

Fourteen people submitted applications seeking to adopt one of the puppies and another five people have inquired about them.

One family wants to give Zelda, who has had three litters in three years, a forever home where she’ll no longer be bred to make money. This will be her last litter, Connors said.

“She’s going to become a loyal member of a loving family, and that’s what she needs,” he said.

All adopters must agree to have the dogs spayed or neutered within six months, or give the dog back, he said.

Connors believes that all of the puppies will get homes, but knows some of those who put in applications could change their minds.

One of the puppies already has a home with a shelter volunteer, Israel Gonzalez of Nesquehoning. Echo, as she has been named, will replace a beloved service dog who just passed, he said.

He along with workers and other volunteers vied for Echo’s attention in the reception area of the shelter Friday, before her mom and siblings came out for a visit.

Echo scooted under the office chair and desk, tugged on a green leash attached to a filing cabinet drawer or chased an empty plastic water bottle, seemingly drawn to the crackling noise it made when pounced upon on the hard floor.

Shelter workers have been keeping the puppies in groups of three, which seems to work best to keep the peace and harmony, Connors said.

But on Friday, they all chased, pounced and nipped at each other when brought together for a brief play session with mom.

Connors and staff at the shelter have been handling them, caring for them and cleaning up after them for three weeks, and are ready for a break.

“I’m already exhausted,” Connors said after trying to capture and contain the puppies in a kiddie pool for just a few minutes.

But he couldn’t stay long. The shelter got a call about a dog running loose near the Dollar General in Albrightsville, and Connors planned to investigate even though the caller said the dog ducked into nearby woods.

Connors and the staff at the shelter have been kept busy with call after call for loose and lost dogs.

He implores dog owners to keep them on leashes and not let them run loose. The new dog warden is going after people, and citing them for these offenses, he said.

Connors recently caught a 7-month-old German shepherd loose in Palmerton, and hours after being returned to the owner, the dog was running on the streets again, he said.

“That’s twice in one day,” he said, adding the dog warden was citing the owner. “Until people get cited and fined, it’s never going to change.

“This dog could have hurt somebody, or got hurt itself,” Connors said. “You have to be responsible.”

These types of calls also take shelter employees away from the dogs in their care, who also need attention, he said.

Connors thanks those people who came forward to help when Zelda and her puppies came into the shelter. Some brought puppy food and others just wanted to lend a hand.

Connors hopes that more people will consider adopting a dog from the shelter, as there are several adult dogs waiting for their forever home.

The shelter, which is located at 63 Broad St. in Nesquehoning, is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Visitors are welcome after 10 a.m., but should call first. The number is 570-325-4828.

Shelter employees Maria Rotondo, left, and Tracy Hunsicker try to keep Zelda and her litter of nine of 9-week-old puppies contained in baby pool at the Carbon County Animal Shelter in Nesquehoning Friday. All 10 of the dogs will be ready for adoption Wednesday. KELLY MONITZ SOCHA/TIMES NEWS