ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Community support continues to grow for the more than 150 dogs rescued from a breeder in Willow. Troopers say the dogs were stuck outside in sub-zero temperatures with nothing to eat or drink.
When construction students at Alaska Job Corps heard about the rescue dogs they wanted to help.
So they did what they do best, grabbed their tools and got to work.
“We decided we were going to go ahead and start building dog houses,” said Alaska Job Corps Executive Assistant Jennifer Campbell.
Students plan to build 80 dog houses for the Mat-Su Animal Shelter where the dogs are being housed.
“Most of our materials were donated and then we used quite a bit of our own materials that were recycled lumber that we would've normally taken to the dump,” said Campbell.
“Makes me feel great doing something for animals that have been rescued, because, me personally, I really love animals, especially dogs,” said student Kalela Evan.
The story of the rescued dogs is enough to call any animal lover to action.
Troopers say they found the dogs shivering and starving on Frank Rich's property outside Talkeetna. They were surviving only on snow.
“They're starting to improve, keeping food down, that's a good sign,” said Mat-Su Animal Shelter Manager Richard Stockdale.
Volunteers have worked around the clock to nurse the dogs back to health.
Community members have donated thousands of dollars and hundreds of pounds of dog food and supplies.
“The public has been outstanding. I can't think of all the businesses that have donated and companies that have donated and it's just a real outpouring of community help,” said Stockdale.
“I'm very looking forward to dropping by the shelter and having a look at the dogs,” said Evan.
Rich is in police custody and faces 50 counts of animal cruelty.