The Lake County sheriff said the pets lived in filth and that this is the most rescues the Animal Adoption and Control Center has ever had.
Staffers were forced to close the shelter Wednesday and Thursday so they could clean up and medically evaluate the new animals. It still was a busy day as people dropped off money and supplies to help with the influx.
A heartbreaking home life landed the dogs in an Indiana lockup. They will likely be free soon -- and their owner behind bars.
Complaints over the smell and barking brought the Lake County Sheriff's Department to the unincorporated Center Township home before, but nothing happened. But Wednesday brought a much different discovery.
He also says the smell of urine and feces were overwhelming and deputies and vet workers had to use masks so they wound not be overwhelmed by the smell.
"It was dark, poor ventilation and then we removed all the animals and we found a lot of medical equipment," said Sheriff John Bunich.
The equipment included scalpels allegedly used to perform a C-section on a French Bulldog and 10 others.
The remains of several canines were also found buried near the barn where the dogs were being held.
Bunich said he doesn't believe the property owner has any veterinary training. "To our knowledge, none whatsoever," he said.
Police and first responders spent over seven hours at the property.
They took out a total of 68 dogs, 50 of them were puppies, three goats and a miniature horse. A couple of the dogs taken away required immediate medical assistance, and the rest were taken to the Lake County Sheriff’s Animal Adoption and Control Center in Crown Point. The goats and horse have been placed with a farmer who will be able to properly care for them, and the sheriff’s deputies are now looking into who was buying the dogs he was selling.
In all, 68 dogs now join the rescues at the Lake County sheriff's shelter. They have tripled their patients and needs.
"We brought Clorox bleach, we brought wipes, we brought paper towels," said one donor, Marina Di Santo.
"Food, yea, they gave us a list," said another donor, Jesse Yarnelle. "We read the article on Facebook and we just wanted to see what we could do."
Bunich said he believes the man was selling the dogs. His department has not named him because he hasn't been arrested.
Friends of the family say it’s a misunderstanding and the dogs are in good shape and are pets, not part of a breeding operation.
Um, yeah so he's got nearly 70 dogs but he's not a breeder?? OK well then, by default, he's a hoarder.
Authorities are planning to charge him with animal neglect, unlicensed vet care and unlicensed breeding.
(CBS News - May 3, 2017)