Humane officers in Soledad rescued a total of 30 dogs during two separate rescues, which were found in "horrific" condition, including being matted, infected with rashes and fleas, and covered in urine and feces.
Monterey County SPCA Community Outreach Director Beth Brookhouser told NBC Bay Area on Wednesday that officials believe there actually be one more dog trapped in the house on Ticino Street.
“The house was so horrifically cluttered with junk piles,” she said, “that the hallways were actually made of clutter. The dogs had to make tunnels to get through.”
After a tip was called in, Soledad Animal Control officers called the nonprofit SPCA for assistance. Officers first were able to find 11 dogs and 10 puppies on Saturday. They went in again, armed with a search warrant, on Monday and recovered nine more dogs. Most of the dogs are Shih Tzus, chihuahuas and rat terriers, and the animals were found covered in feces and urine. Their hair was severely matted, Brookhouser said, adding that their nails were long and skin infected.
Now, the dogs are are resting up and trying to get healthy at the SPCA center, where Brookhouser said the goal is to get them adopted into loving families.
Brookhouser wouldn’t identify the residents of the home, saying only that they are a man and a woman. She did say that her agency is helping to work on an animal abuse case to submit to the Monterey County District Attorney.
The rescue was arduous, Brookhouser said, because authorities could only walk sideways through the hallways; they were piled to the ceiling with furniture, trash, boxes and junk. Inside, the house was also covered in feces, urine, animal hair and spider webs. She said hundreds of rats and mice were also scurrying about.
This is the SPCA for Monterey County's fifth large-scale rescue since 2012 – a total of 190 dogs, cats and birds – and one hen - have been rescued during that time.
To report animal cruelty and neglect, please contact the SPCA at 831-373-2631. To donate to help animals like these, please call the SPCA or donate online at www.SPCAmc.org.
The SPCA for Monterey County is your nonprofit, independent, donor-supported humane society that has been serving the animals and people of Monterey County since 1905.