Dogs rescued from hoarding situation in Clayton

May 3, 2013 3:16:18 PM PDT
More than a dozen dogs were rescued from terrible living conditions at a home in Clayton.

The owner is suspected of hoarding the animals --- some for years. However, she isn't facing any charges.

The owner said she tried to give the animals to the Wake County Animal Shelter, but they were too full and she was afraid they would be put down.

When Johnston County Animal Control threatened to take the dogs, she reached out to Second Chance Pet Adoptions, and they were amazed at what they found.

"It's very frustrating," said Second Chance's Paula Lunsford. "We've shed some tears over these guys."

In all, 14 dogs were rescued. Lunsford said many of them were caged up and living in terrible conditions.

"Some of the teeth were practically falling out," said Lunsford. "Some of their teeth were just coated in tartar. You couldn't even see the teeth on some of them it was so bad."

The owner told Lunsford she thought she was helping the animals. Many of them were rescues she'd taken in over the years, but animal control threatened to take the dogs when she couldn't care for them properly.

The owner was forced to hand the dogs over to Second Chance.

"It often starts with someone whose intentions are good and they are wanting to rescue and place the animals in homes, and it just gets out of control," said Lunsford.

Several of the animals suffered severe infections, including Beethoven who lost an eye in the ordeal.

"He had a small eye, probably genetic in nature and had a full cataract in it," said Dr. Lisa Mendis, of CareFirst Animal Hospital. "Because it was so small and could lead to possible problems in the future, we went ahead and removed it."

The rescue group has spent thousands of dollars to treat the dogs.  All but one remain in foster homes waiting for someone to adopt them.

"We will dig into some other areas of our budget to pull it out if we have to, but we're hoping the community will come through for us," said Lunsford.

Lunsford says the dogs are almost fully healed and will be ready soon for adoption.

If you can't adopt, the group still need donations to help cover medical expenses.

Click here for more details on how you can help.

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