Last week, the San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control officers rescued 191 dogs from an animal hoarder. There is even a chance that this was an abandoned puppy mill or other breeding operation, according to the Palm Springs Animal Welfare Examiner.
The dogs were found in a condemned building in the high desert, abandoned. Their owner has not yet been identified.
Doug Smith, the Supervising Animal Control Officer for San Bernardino County, indicated that the shelter has never had that many animals, according to Channel ABC 7, Los Angeles, and that this is one of the largest hoarding cases in San Bernardino County.
Most of the dogs appear to be purebreds. “We have everything from Weimaraners, to Cocker Spaniels, to Chihuahuas, to Pomeranians, to Mastiffs, you name it,” Brian Cronin, the Chief of the San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control, stated.
The dogs were in dire need of medical attention and grooming because of their neglect and were transferred to various shelters in the County. Only one of the 191 dogs had to be euthanized, despite their bad condition.
Pam Morrissey, of Cutie Pies Grooming Salon, located in Redlands, said one of the dogs “had about three or four inches of hair. It was pretty matted. It had feces all over, dreadlocked on it.”
Although individuals and rescue groups are interested in saving the dogs, a hold placed on each of them because they are considered evidence in an investigation. In an e-mail on February 10, Doug Smith indicated the following regarding the case.
“What may not be understood by some is these dogs are evidence to the investigation. As such, we cannot relinquish custody of them until the investigation is completed and reviewed. Should we transfer custody, the credibility of the evidence could get called into court and could jeopardize the case.
What is more important; holding the person responsible for committing this crime against these animals or transferring the animals to other facilities and letting the guilty party off, only to commit the same crime again somewhere else?
Our investigators are diligently working on this case and I am hopeful the animals will be released from hold shortly. I am also hopeful, once they are released and can be placed up for adoption, the energy and interest regarding the placement of these dogs will still be at this high level and they can quickly be adopted.”
If and when the dogs become available for adoption, they will appear on Adoptable Pets page of the county’s website. The dogs won’t be up for adoption until after the county concludes its investigation and the dogs are no longer considered evidence.
The Inquisitr covered the story of two Georgia hoarders, sisters Elisha and Leah Waller, who also faced charges for animal cruelty for 31 dying cats. It was noted that “[t]he troubling condition often stems from some type of psychologically engrained trauma. For one reason or another, a hoarder developed an unhealthy attachment, clinging to the otherwise innocuous, valueless item others would throw away.”
[Video Courtesy Channel ABC 7, Los Angeles, Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]