Dozens of dogs, 78 to be exact, were rescued just days ago from a hoarding situation in El Cajon, California. Thanks to a special response team with the San Diego Humane Society, the dogs are no longer living in cramped conditions and squalor.
The rescue effort took place on Thursday at a house in the 700 block of El Monte Avenue in El Cajon. According to KUSI News, attention was drawn to the sad hoarding situation by a neighbor who reported it to the local authorities.
A press release from the shelter outlined the unhealthy situation inside of the home:
Our team discovered these dogs living in horribly unsanitary conditions with dirt and feces piled up around them inside the house. Worse, most of the dogs never left the house. Once we saw how devastating this situation was, we responded quickly with medical examinations and transport to our San Diego Campus for triage and further medical care.
The owner of the dogs, who are described as terriers, Chihuahuas and Dachshund mixes, was said to be grateful for the help of the shelter’s response team. The Humane Society stated, “it was clear he cared about the animals but he couldn’t keep up with their care. We see this type of situation often when well-intentioned animal lovers become overwhelmed with the immense number of animals in their home—78 animals are certainly an intense number.”
Though the dogs appeared to be well-nourished, most were suffering with flea infestations and severe skin conditions, including inflamed and raw skin, as well as open lesions. Thanks to the shelter’s veterinary team, the dogs (and puppies) are receiving much-needed medical treatment.
The shelter is keeping Facebook followers up-to-date about the rescued dogs using #78dogs. On December 3, the shelter advised followers about the dogs’ emotional progress:
Animals rescued from neglectful or abusive situations oftentimes display anxious or fearful behaviors. Our medical and animal care staff work patiently to coax them out of their shell and into into a trusting relationship so we can provide them with the medical care necessary for recovery.
Adding words of gratitude to Purina for their help in providing food for the dozens of rescued canines:
Our team uses Purina Pro Plan wet food which is what we’re feeding Lucy in these photos. We are incredibly grateful to Purina for their generosity and partnership in feeding these #78dogs who need all the nutritious food necessary to help them heal from their ordeal.
According to the shelter, the dogs are still being evaluated – as soon as they are healthy and their needs have been assessed, they will be made available for adoption.
The identity of the man who owned the dogs has not been released. The house where the dogs were living has been condemned and it will most likely be torn down, reported NBC San Diego.
Donations for the 78 rescued dogs can be made at this link.
Find the San Diego Humane Society on Facebook here.