Rescued Maui dogs
adapting to new life

A sanctuary is nursing them back
to health and will find homes

Associated Press

Four dogs removed from a Maui home crowded with 95 dogs and cats early this year are reported to be thriving at a Utah animal sanctuary.

The four mixed-breed dogs spend their days romping in a pool, rolling in the dirt and getting attention from staff and volunteers, according to a statement from the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah.

The sanctuary staff has been preparing the dogs for adoption, the statement said.

The dogs are regularly checked by a veterinarian, walked by staff and volunteers, and even taken home by volunteers on "sleepovers" to help them get adapted to living with humans, the statement said.

"When we first get dogs from traumatic situations, they just need time to become dogs again," said Michael Mountain, president of Best Friends. "After that, we will inevitably find a person who is just right for the dog. It might take some time, but we seem to always find a match."

The four dogs were among 81 dogs and 14 cats removed from a Haiku home on Jan. 4. Their former owners, Jean and Tim Bermudez, face 85 counts of animal cruelty for allegedly failing to give the animals adequate space and clean living conditions.

All but seven of the animals were euthanized because of poor health or lack of space at the Maui animal shelter, shelter officials said.

The Maui Humane Society found homes on Maui for three of the rescued animals -- a cat and two dogs.

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