Dozens of dogs face a grim future after being discovered in neglected conditions at a home last weekend in Lake Los Angeles, California.
Officials rescued 60 dogs at the abandoned property. More than 20 puppies had either died or needed to be euthanized shortly after their rescue, and 39 other dogs and puppies now face a long recovery. The animals were found starving and emaciated after a nearby home caught fire and spread, prompting the owner to flee and leave the dogs behind.
Officials are now hoping to find a solution for where to put the dogs.
Animal shelters in Los Angeles County are packed full, with the county experiencing a “crisis” regarding the shelters, according to a report from L.A. TV station KABC.
Teri Austin, president of the Amanda Foundation, a nonprofit animal charity, said the shelters in Los Angeles County are already “bursting at the seams.”
“There are cages in the hall. They are out of cage space,” Austin told KABC. “They have temporary cages in the hallways, just to house the number of animals they have. I have never seen it like this.”
Newsweek reached out for comment to the Amanda Foundation through an online request form.
The dogs had names and loved their owner, according to KABC’s report, but the owner became overwhelmed after acquiring so many animals. After the owner left the home, the animals went to a nearby property.
Animal lovers and organizations in California are encouraging Governor Gavin Newsom to allocate more funding to animal shelters to help in situations like these. This past Sunday, the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation posted on Facebook about their most recent efforts. The foundation hopes to convince Newsom to add companion animals to a state of emergency declaration to allow for more funding for shelters and animal rescues.
“We all network and see the horrific state not only in California, in regards to homeless and abandoned animals, but the country,” the post said. “We have been screaming from the rooftops for intervention for these poor defenseless souls. This issue is bigger than all of us!”
Newsweek reached out for comment to the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation by email.
In its post, the foundation went on to explain the “horrible situation” in Lake Los Angeles, in which 100 dogs were “packed into crates.”
Earlier this month, 14 puppies were euthanized after being discovered in an animal hoarding situation, the Los Angeles Times reported. Several of the puppies had parvovirus, a highly contagious illness affecting dogs and puppies that can cause vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Twenty-four other dogs found on the property survived but are now without a home.
The animals that do get rescued face a grim future because of the overwhelmed shelters in the county. Data from County of Los Angeles Animal Care and Control shows that from July 1 to August 31, 801 dogs were euthanized at animal shelters throughout the county.
Animal organizations are pleading with owners to spay and neuter their pets to prevent the problem from worsening.
“Spay and neuter your pets. We have so many unwanted puppies and kittens,” Austin told KABC. “The harsh reality is that some of those animals are going to be euthanized, and they are healthy and young, but there just aren’t enough homes.”