Didn't we have a recent thread about how some people who work for animal rescue organizations have issues? This story is mind-boggling. Why did rescue group entrust so many animals to one person -- especially someone who had been noticeably depressed? Yeah, overwhelmed.
An animal rights executive has been found dead in her Ohio garage, along with 31 dogs she had rescued, in an apparent suicide.
A friend of Sandy Lertzman discovered her body inside the garage of her Moreland Hills home on Monday. The engine of the car was still running.
Friends of the 62-year-old mother, who had dedicated her life to saving animals, believe she killed the dogs out of concern for their future.
Police found vials of prescription pills inside the vehicle and an apparent suicide note, which has not been made public, was inside her home.
The executive director of the Animal Rights Foundation, who was married and had a 20-year-old son named Matthew, was last seen on Sunday. One of the puppies in the car with Mrs Lertzman managed to escape from a small opening in the garage. It is being cared for by her husband, Rick.
Gina Lutes-Finley, a friend of Mrs Lertzman and the Director of Dogs Unlimited Rescue, told WKYC the animal rights campaigner may have been overwhelmed by caring for animals.
'She wanted to continue to rescue and save these animals but, [bold]unfortunately, nobody can take care of 30 animals, properly, by themselves,' Ms Lutes-Finley said.[/bold]
She added that Mrs Lertzman probably chose to kill the dogs out of concern that no one would be able to look after them.
'I can see why it would be so hard to walk away but you can't do it alone, and that's the bottom line,' Ms Lutes-Finley said. Loss: Gina Lutes-Finley says her friend may have killed the dogs out of concern about who would care for them
'It's absolutely one of the most tragic stories because she had all the right intentions of helping those puppies,' Ms Lutes-Finley, who is helping to find homes for her friend's 20 cats, said.
Neighbors told Waff Mrs Lertzman, who lost a son in a car accident ten years ago, had seemed increasingly depressed over the years.
As well as rescuing animals, Mrs Lertzman had written a book, Ask Dog Lady, which her surviving son helped her with.