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Update: Dogs seized from Caledonia shelter moving to new location

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Orphan Kanines in Caledonia

RACINE (WITI) — The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) has acquired a short-term facility in the Racine area to house nearly all the dogs from last week’s seizure of 81 dogs, 10 cats and two pigs from the Orphan Kanines facility in Caledonia, as well as from two private residences belonging to the owner of Orphan Kanines.

WHS officials say that moving the dogs to one location early this week will allow them to best care for the seized dogs, as well as ensure that the organization can continue to conduct its regular services for the communities they serve.

The facility itself is a spacious, temperature-controlled facility with areas for the dogs to get proper exercise. Staff members from all three WHS campuses, including veterinary personnel, will be onsite every day caring for the dogs. Current volunteers from all three WHS campuses will also be assisting at that temporary location.

Nearly every animal rescued was in need of some medical attention. The deplorable conditions caused respiratory infections so severe in some of the puppies that chest X-rays are necessary to determine the extent of the infection.

WHS is currently treating other dogs for ear and eye infections, glaucoma, topical wounds, fleas, dental disease and paw injuries from standing in urine and feces. One dog needed emergency surgery for a condition called pyometra, which would have likely killed her if not caught. Another has a serious heart murmur.

Donations have been coming into the shelter since the news broke on Thursday, but the organization will need more help.

“The public response to a call for donations over the weekend truly floored us,” said Alison Kleibor, WHS Racine Campus Director. “Every dog will certainly be getting new toys and treats this week, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the help. There are still many supplies that we’re looking for, so we keep updating our Amazon Wish List online. Monetary donations will help offset housing and medical expenses.”

A link to the Amazon Wish List and online donation form can be found at

On Monday evening, the Wisconsin Humane Society issued a statement, after learning the owner of Orphan Kanines, Debra Gray has been charged with 85 misdemeanor counts of “mistreating animals — intentional or negligent violation” and one count of “operating as a dog breeder or dealer without a license.”

It was also learned that Gray has signed over the rights to all of the animals.

The WI Humane Society statement reads as follows:

“We understand that the owner of Orphan Kanines has relinquished the animals as of Monday afternoon, which is a great step toward WHS being able to put the animals up for adoption. Because the owner may have been offering boarding services, we want to do as much as we can to resolve potential claims of ownership before dogs are made available for adoption. In addition, many of the dogs need important medical treatment before moving into the adoption program.  In the meantime, the dogs are getting top notch care and extra TLC from our staff and volunteers. Thank you so much for the inquiries about adopting – we know we’ll find incredibly loving families for these sweet souls. We will be sure to update you when they are ready to be adopted.”

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