Members of Animal Rescue Team Taiwan managed to catch six seriously ill stray dogs in Taichung City after a marathon effort that lasted more than 18 hours.
The dogs were transported to Kaohsiung City yesterday for emergency treatment.
The operation, which involved transporting the dogs 200km, was launched after the non-profit organization was informed that a pack of stray dogs sheltered by a vagrant living in an abandoned property in Taichung were suffering from severe skin disease, had lost almost all their hair and were covered in bleeding sores.
In preparation for the rescue operation, volunteers were dispatched one week in advance to inspect the location and wooden planks and cardboard were used to block off all possible exits.
Tranquilizer darts were used to sedate the animals and local residents and volunteers from northern and central Taiwan helped out.
The team eventually captured the animals and delivered them to the Hung-Li Animal Hospital in Kaohsiung for treatment.
Veterinarian Feng Tzung-hung (馮宗宏) said that all six dogs were suffering from a type of mange called demodicosis, scabies and chronic dermatitis and were infested with fleas and ticks.
Two of the dogs suffered from a bacterial infection called canine ehrlichiosis and coagulation disorders, while two others had festering wounds all over their bodies, Feng said.
He said that the animals would require up to two months of treatment to recover fully.
The rescue team, meanwhile, promised that it would help find people to adopt the dogs when they recover.
Since its establishment in 1995, Animal Rescue Team Taiwan has saved thousands of abused and injured stray dogs and helped find homes abroad for more than 100 animals.
The organization, run by retired math teacher Joseph Nee (倪兆成) and his family, rescues strays mainly in southern Taiwan.