CHILLICOTHE – Cabin Critters Rescue, located in Wheelersburg, has had to recently take on more dogs than usual and found itself struggling to feed them. They reached out to Petland to help them through it.

Nearly out of food, Sammie Ishmael with Cabin Critters called Petland Ashland’s general manager, Kaylee Sturgill, to see if she could help. Having an established relationship with the rescue, Sturgill immediately gathered nearly 20 large bags of dog food for the rescue to pick up that day, at no cost.

“Making community connections is an important part of Petland’s business model,” said Petland’s Director of Communications Maria Smith. “Each of Petland’s 25 corporate-owned retail store managers are charged with making significant relationships in their local communities. Most often, these are with like-minded, pet-centric organizations with whom they can connect, problem solve and assure that all pets have access to their basic needs as they wait to meet their forever families.”

These relationships include rescues, shelters, support of police K9 units and more.

Ishmael expressed her thanks on the rescue’s Facebook page stating, “Cabin Critters Rescue would like to thank Petland Ashland for helping us during a time of crisis when we ran out of dog food! Petland immediately packed up some food for us.”

But Sturgill went the extra mile.

She reached out to Petland’s corporate office, located in Chillicothe, to make a request for more food to be donated through the company’s distribution center. Within a day, the distribution center loaded 900 pounds of dog food, delivering it to the rescue located about an hour away. Petland Charities covered the cost of the food from the distribution center and provided a $3,000 grant to assist the rescue in managing the care and needs of the influx of pets in their care.

Petland Charities Executive Director Ed Sayres, formerly an animal welfare industry executive stated, “Small, local charitable organizations such as shelters and rescues are currently experiencing high intake challenges. This is a great example of how Petland is making meaningful connections at the community level, which in turn are making a difference for pets in challenging situations.”

Cabin Critters Rescue is a non-profit located in Scioto County, Ohio, that was opened up back in 2019, and since then, has gone on to save more than 400 cats, dogs, and various other animals.

Cabin Critters Rescue just wants to place animals in their care in the best of homes, and they want them to find families they can be with forever.

Two dogs that are currently at Cabin Critters Rescue waiting on their new families are two brothers aptly named Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn had a very sad start to their lives. “These guys were saved by a gentleman when he found out the man was going to shoot the whole litter,” Cabin Critters Rescue said on a Facebook page introducing the brothers as available for adoption.

“By the time he reached them, these were the last remaining puppies out of 9. The man had shot them all before the gentleman arrived to help.”

“So these boys did come from a very rocky start. They’re now loving and trusting boys who just want to play.”

Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn weigh approximately 25 pounds and they are both Huskys. They love to run and play, so they definitely need a home where they can get that outside time, preferably with a fenced yard.

“They love lots of toys,” Cabin Critters Rescue explained on their adoption page for the boys.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (WXIX) - Several local rescues are helping with a large hoarding case involving hundreds of dogs that were pulled from a Kentucky property.

A non-profit, Guardians of Rescue, led the efforts to save the animals.

Margaret Coplen, Vice President of All Dogs Come From Heaven rescue out of Amelia, Ohio, said they are involved in the case. She reports that 200 animals were on the Williamsburg property - living in dangerous hoarding conditions - when rescuers arrived.

“I’m sorry I’m getting a little emotional. You don’t get used to it,” says Coplen. “Every case you go on is as bad as, or comparable to, the one before, and it doesn’t seem to change.”

According to Coplen, rescuers who were on-site had to wear hazmat suits for their own protection.

“A home and property literally as bad as we’ve ever done,” Coplen says. “Dogs living outside in extreme filth, and the family was not only hoarding animals but hoarding items as well. Hundreds of hundreds of bags of garbage outside the building.”

Coplen and others with All Dogs rescue took in 51 dogs connected to the case. She said they brought them back to the Cincinnati area and have since placed 39 of them with other rescue organizations. 

Most are young, smaller-sized dogs, although there are litters of puppies. Some of the puppies, Coplen says, have been diagnosed with parvo, which is often deadly.

“There’s mange. There are eye infections. There’s kennel cough,” Coplen says.

Coplen believes the people who owned the animals will not be criminally charged because they surrendered the dogs.

“It was a couple who, like many hoarders, start with good intentions, and it just escalated and escalated and escalated,” she says. “If you’re overwhelmed, reach out. Somebody will help.”

The animal shelter in that area was already at capacity, so Coplen said they also took in 26 dogs from that facility to help ease the Kentucky shelter’s load.

On top of Guardians of Rescue and All Dogs Come From Heaven, Coplen said multiple other agencies were involved, including:

Cabin Critters Rescue - took 10 dogs

Hope Fur Paws Rescue - took six dogs

All Starr Pet Rescue - took 19 dogs

Deb’s Dogs - took three dogs

Lucky Tales Rescue - took two dogs

Adoption First Animal Rescue KY - took four dogs

Furgotten Dog Rescue - took five dogs

All of the organizations are always seeking foster families, volunteers, adopters and donations to help them with cases such as this one.

WHEELERSBURG, OH (WOWK) — A local rescue shelter in Ohio is racing against the clock to raise the funds they need to keep their organization afloat.

For Cabin Critters Animal Rescue in Wheelersburg, Ohio, time is almost up.

“So, we have until June 30, 2020, to come up with $30,000,”  Catherine Del Valle, treasurer of Cabin Critters Rescue said.

For a local nonprofit pet rescue center that opened it’s doors a little over a year ago, this is a tremendous amount of money to raise in a short amount of time.

“Well, we have asked for $40,000, it’s what we’re trying to get, that’s our goal.  We have raised ten thousand presently,” Del Valle said.

The idea for the rescue arose from a severe need in the area.

“There is no other shelter in this area, and we are overrun with lost dogs, neglected dogs, abused dogs, stray dogs, cats, everything, and there’s nowhere to put them.  They’re just running loose, so we need another shelter.”


In the short time they have been operating, they’ve seen firsthand the variety of animals that need their help in the area.

“We get calls not just daily, we get calls every hour: ‘can you please take my cats? Can you please take my dogs? Can you come help this horse?’ I think we even had a call about a pig one time! We’ve had a guinea pig, we’ve had a snake, we’ve had a screech owl, we’ve had so many animals here, and so if we don’t have a building, we can’t help them.” 


Photo by WOWK 13 News Staff

Animals don’t just come to this shelter from Scioto County; they’re actually coming from areas all around the region.

“There’s a great need here in Scioto County.  We even help with animals that come in from other areas: Greenup, across the river in Kentucky, Lawrence County, you know, so we’ve got animals from other places, not just Scioto County,” Del Valle said.

The deadline, and the amount, is steep. Catherine Del Valle worries what will happen if they don’t raise the money in time.  

“We don’t want to turn them away and say, we can’t take you and worry what’s gonna happen to that dog or cat or animal, what’s gonna happen to that animal? Are they gonna leave them on the side of the road like we know many have already been left?”


For this animal rescue, the clock is ticking.

“Every dollar counts.  We really really really need it.  Just help us help the voiceless,” Del Valle said.

If you are interested in learning more about this small nonprofit and their goal, visit this website, or call 740-935-5834.

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Rescuers are calling it a miracle.  

A puppy severely beaten and left in a southern Ohio alley will not only survive but is thriving. It’s thanks to the blood sweat and tears of Ohio rescue volunteers.  

When you see the pictures of what happened and then you look at the dog today it’s hard to believe.  

“She shouldn’t be here,” said her new dad and second foster family Ed Bourne. Against all odds Peanut is still here. “She’s amazing and strong willed and she brings joy every day.” 

At just a few weeks old, this now floppy puppy was found bloody and in brutal shape. Veterinarians were not sure if she would keep her eye, let alone survive.  

Rather than put her down, volunteers had a gut feeling and jumped into action. They took her to the vet and then rescue group Stop the Suffering transported her to Columbus where she stayed with a foster family turned puppy-ICU.  

“Peanut got better every day.  Peanut walked a little more. Peanut moved and she responded to sound and she recovered quickly.” 

Because of trauma to the right side of her brain she always turns right and paces in circles. She has a hard time sitting still and will always have some vision issues.  

“It’ll take longer for her to figure out stairs, she’ll figure them out. It’ll take a little longer for her to be house trained, she’ll figure it out.”  

Even when someone tried, they couldn’t take her life, or the love she has to give.  

“To see all the horrible things she went through, and she loves people and she loves life and she loves toys and she loved you the moment you walked in.”  

The kisses to the camera prove that. It’s the reason why she’s found a home here, with her second foster family who is beyond grateful for the people who came before them.  

“The work that I’m not built for, I don’t even know how to express gratitude to both Amanda and Melissa; both of them saved her life.” 

While Peanut is living with her 4everhome you can donate to the rescues who poured thousands of dollars into saving her.  

Go to to donate to her rescue and call the Shawnee Animal Clinic at 740-353-5758 if you’d like to donate toward the cost of her care. 

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A puppy found in Portsmouth is recovering after being rescued and found with toxins in his system.

Amanda Timberlake with Cabin Critters Rescue saw a video of the puppy, crying inside a crate. She says the home where he was rescued from had no electricity or running water.

"The vets believe, too, that he's gotten into some form of illicit street drug," Timberlake said.

Estimated to be three months old, the pup is named Toby. He's been put on seizure medication to help treat some of the neurological responses to the toxins.

"After he gets his medicine he's kind of just like chill, it kind of makes him a little lethargic," Timberlake said.

The group says they could always use donations of dog food, blankets, wet wipes, cat food, cat littler, toys, etc. They're also looking for volunteers.

"When people give pets away for free, that's the most dangerous thing they can do," Timberlake said. "Then these dogs wind up in the wrong hands. These people can't even take care of their selves, let alone an animal."

Toby is not available for adoption yet. He'll need to be weaned off medicine first.

"They're so helpless," Timberlake said. "They need someone who's going to be able to afford vet care or someone who's going to love them and protect them and watch over them."

Toby is expected to make a full recovery, thanks to the quick response of the volunteers getting him to the veterinarian in time to flush his system. They don't expect him to have any long-term effects from the drugs.

The crew at Cabin Critters Rescue works to ensure that no pet finds itself out on the streets.

The rescue is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating, educating and supporting animal welfare. Cabin Critter’s Stephanie Wright explained that the rescue started on Feb. 7, 2019, with a board of 12 people, some of which had been involved with other local rescue efforts.

“We decided we wanted to start our own rescue with the values we felt were important,” Wright stated.

Cabin Critters works with Pace’s Pet Grooming, Boarding and Daycare, which provides boarding for the rescues. Many of the Cabin Critters board members also work with Pace’s.

In the first year, Wright said that Cabin Critters has rescued one screech owl, over 50 cats, over 200 dogs and two horses.

“Before we even got our 501(c)3 papers, we were already on a roll, pulling pets in and pulling in donations,” Wright stated. “We don’t have a physical location. We’re all volunteers. Nobody gets paid. We do this all from the goodness of our heart and that passion that we love animals, all animals.”

The small rescue making a big impact works with pet owners to make sure they don’t have to put their pets out for any reason.

“We don’t want to see any of them struggle on the street. We don’t want to see any of them be surrendered. If we can help somebody keep their pet, we want to do that. If they can’t keep their pet, we want to make sure that we find either a home for them or a shelter.

In this effort, Cabin Critters has the Owner Surrender Program, a program for pet owners who find themselves in situations where they can no longer keep their pets.

Through the program, the rescue helps pet owners find new homes for their furry friends. Wright explained that Cabin Critters has a dog adoption coordinator who works with rescues across the country and in Canada in order to ensure abandoned dogs have a safe place to go. Likewise, the rescue has two cat coordinators who work to ensure even feral cats don’t end up alone in the cold.

The rescue currently has 15 cats and 12 dogs up for adoption. These include everything from small kittens to large mastiffs and even sheepadoodles. There is an adoption fee for both cats and dogs. Wright explained that the fee for cats ranges from $50 to $200 for some of the more specialty cats. The adoption fee for puppies is $200, for adult dogs is $150 and $50 for those dogs that are difficult to place. Adoption fees include the cost to spay or neuter the pets.

The rescue has teamed up with Rural King in New Boston to host monthly adoption events. Cabin Critters Rescue will be at Rural King from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the first Saturday of every month, where they will have pets for adoption. To help raise funds, Pace’s Grooming will also be onsite, offering pet nail clipping. The cost for small animals will be $5, and the cost for large animals will be $10. Cabin Critters will also be hosting a Pass the Pawz Karaoke night at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7 at After the Game in Lucasville. Finally, the 2nd Annual Critter Ride will begin at 11 a.m. on May 16 at the Portsmouth Brewing Company. Wright explained that the Critter Ride is open to all motorcycle riders, including those riding single or double.

Cabin Critters offers a variety of adoption programs including foster-to-adopt, fostering and a veteran assistance program. For more information about pet adoption or to make a donation, visit Cabin Critters Rescue on Facebook or stop in Pace’s Grooming at 1088 Mead McNear Road in Wheelersburg