Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

December 3, 2013

Rescuers coax dogs out of hiding at War house

WAR — The barking from multiple dogs could be heard up and down Warrior Mine Road as a dog rescuer from Indiana worked to save the canines.

Jeannie Renninger of Whitley County, Ind., drove eight hours on Sunday to reach McDowell County after seeing a post on Facebook about six stray dogs in Kimball. After contacting a friend who lives in Bluefield, Michelle Lafon, to help her rescue the dogs, she then learned about 20 to 40 other dogs in a house, whose owner is now hospitalized.

Sheriff Martin West, of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Department, escorted Renninger and four other volunteers to the house.

Equipped with treats, dog food, blankets and kennels, Renninger and volunteers entered a house covered in dog feces and found about 15 dogs inside, along with another 10 dogs outside in the yard.

Renninger said, she could see a few of the dogs were injured and sick, although most were simply scared and hungry.

Renninger said she won’t leave until all the dogs are rescued.

Renninger has been rescuing dogs since she was a child, but has been rescuing full force for about two years, she said.

“When I heard about the situation, I just knew I had to be on site. I came just for the dogs,” Renninger said.

After rescuing and rehabilitating the dogs, Renninger then finds the dogs suitable homes.

“This is my passion, and I have devoted my life to this. After a battle with cancer, rescuing dogs brought me up out of the bed,” Renninger said.

After the dogs have been rescued each dog will be vet checked and treated properly.

“ I have already had people calling me to ask about fostering and adopting the dogs,” Renninger said.

— Contact Anne Elgin at

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