Dozens of hoarded dogs ready for a clean start - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Dozens of hoarded dogs ready for a clean start

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Dozens of dogs rescued from filthy conditions are ready for a clean start.

Earlier this month, authorities rescued 78 dogs living in drastically unsanitary conditions in a small, filth-ridden home at the foot of Fletcher Hills.

Officers with the animal-welfare agency found 78 small canines, including terrier, Chihuahua and Dachshund mixes, in the modest single-story residence, the floors of which were covered in feces up to a foot deep in places, said Stephen MacKinnon, law enforcement chief for the organization.

The dogs all appeared to be well-fed, and none seemed to be in dire shape, according to MacKinnon. Some, however, showed signs of possible skin and respiratory ailments, he said.

Dr. Cynthia Mitchell, medical director of the San Diego Humane Society said for the past two-and-a-half weeks the dogs have been spayed or neutered, have received all of their vaccinations and are well on their way to receiving a clean bill of health.

The rescued dogs are also developing social skills and getting used to human interaction.

The resident who had hoarded the animals was cooperative with authorities. He told them he had gradually gotten carried away with collecting dogs and wound up overwhelmed by the task of caring for the pack while increasingly distracted by personal problems.

The man, whose name was not released, told officials he was interested in eventually reclaiming a few of his pets, if possible.

To do so, he would have to apply for adoption and undergo a strict approval process, including an evaluation of the environment in which the dogs would live, according to the Humane Society.

The home was declared uninhabitable and likely will have to be demolished due to the extent of the contamination, which likely permeated the structure itself.

The group of rescued dogs will not be available for adoption before Christmas, but the San Diego Humane Society will continue to wave adoption fees through Christmas Eve.

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