KELLOGG, Idaho – An Idaho animal rescue center found 85 dogs abandoned in an evicted renter’s house on Monday night, officials said.
Shoshone Pet Rescue received a call from a person who said they were a friend of the evicted person in Kellogg, KREM-TV reported. The organization discovered there were at least 30 dogs left inside the woman’s home, the television station reported.
The Kootenai Humane Society was called in to assist, and officials found a lot more animals in the home.
“My heart just dropped,” Debbie Jeffrey, executive director of Kootenai Humane Society, told KREM.
For four days, 85 dogs and 10 cats were alone, KXLY reported.
“There’s feces all over the place. There’s holes in the walls,” Jeffrey told the television station. “They found some puppies in the wall.”
Kellogg Police Sgt. Paul Twidt told the Shoshone News-Press that he could not believe how many animals were in the home.
“I’ve never seen anything like that in 20 years as a police officer,” Twidt told the newspaper. “They’re all pretty much the same breed, so (they) have probably kept them there for quite a while. It’s a pretty classic case of hoarding.”
Vicky Nelson, development director of Kootenai Humane Society, said it was the largest number of animals they had ever taken in at once. The organization took in 66 dogs and four cats off a horse trailer on Monday night, KXLY reported. Some kennels originally had five or six dogs while humane society officials scrambled to find more space.
“Where are we going to put them all? We couldn’t say no,” Nelson told the television station. “There’s no place in our area that can take this amount of dogs. Not that we can, but we absolutely made room for them.”
The owner of the house was evicted on Thursday, and the officer that served her told Jeffrey that he didn’t hear any dogs barking, KREM reported. She and the Kellogg police believe the woman locked the dogs in the basement, so no one could hear their barks.
Surprisingly, most of the dogs appeared to be well-fed and even had their nails clipped, the News-Press reported.
Of the original 85 dogs, 83 survived, the newspaper reported. One had already died and another had to be euthanized following a fight with another dog. Most of the puppies have already been placed in foster homes, the News-Press reported.
Four of the dogs were pregnant, and there were 33 males, the newspaper reported.
The dogs range in age from 3 weeks old to 8 years old, KXLY reported. Some the breeds include Yorkies, terriers and chihuahuas, the television station reported.
Once the dogs have been examined by veterinarians, they will be put up for adoption on the humane society’s website this week, KXLY reported. The remaining dogs should also be available for adoption in about a week. Jeffrey said an animal shelter in Thompson Falls, Montana, will take 15 dogs, the News-Press reported.
“People ask me all day, ‘Why did you say yes?’” Jeffrey told KREM. “Because my heart. My heart. If those dogs hadn’t been taken out of that house yesterday, the outcome wasn’t going to be good. They were going to have to euthanize some of them.”
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