DVM advice leads to record-breaking humane case

Mar 28, 2008
By dvm360.com staff

Tucson, Ariz. - 3/28/08 - After following a suggestion from her veterinarian, a woman's tip to local authorities led to the discovery of almost 900 animals in a triple-wide mobile home.

About 800 small dogs, including Chihuahuas, terriers, Lhasa Apsos and Pomeranians, and more than 80 parrots were removed from the Avra Valley home of an elderly couple this week, according to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

The couple was breeding dogs and offering them for sale in a home covered in urine and feces. Although appearing to have been sufficiently fed, some animals were missing paws, injuries believed to have been caused from attacks by other animals and exposure to outside fencing, according to the humane society.

A woman who had bought a Chihuahua from the couple reported the conditions to animal welfare officials. After visiting a veterinarian with the new pet and explaining the conditions she had seen earlier this month, the DVM encouraged her to report the situation, according to the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

The number of animals involved is double that of the humane society's previously largest case -- with some pregnant dogs even giving birth en route to animal shelters after their removal from the home.

No charges have been filed against the couple, but an investigation continues.