Hoarded Calif. dogs await rescue groups

Associated Press
This image provided by the San Bernardino County Animal Shelter in San Bernardino, Calif., shows a dog held by Supervising Animal Control Officer Doug Smith at the shelter on Friday, July 5, 2013. The animal was one of more than 130 dogs seized from a hoarder two weeks ago. The animals had been living in one large pack for years without proper food, medical care or human interaction, officials said. They can only be released to rescue groups because of the costly and extensive medical care and behavior work they need. (AP Photo/San Bernardino County Animal Shelter, C.L. Lopez)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than 130 dogs saved from a hoarder in California two weeks ago need to be saved again — but only rescue groups can save them now.

The dogs were seized from Rainbow's End Animal Sanctuary in Apple Valley on June 18, where they had been living in one large pack for years without proper food, medical care or human interaction, San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control officials said.

Some dogs had to be euthanized for health reasons. The rest can only be released to rescue groups because of the costly and extensive medical care and behavior work they need. For the same reason, most rescue groups may only be able to take one or two dogs, said Doug Smith, the supervising animal control officer at the Devore Animal Shelter, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

Any nonprofit rescue group in the country with the proper credentials can save a dog, Smith said. The rescue groups will have to provide transportation for the dogs too.

The dogs are all at Devore now, but only because other shelters and pet lovers pitched in two weeks ago and adopted every available dog at the shelter to make room.

Devore had to hold the hoarded dogs as evidence until Friday.

All of the hoarded dogs are mixed breed, with a lot of shepherd and collie in them, Smith said.

Smith says the dogs range in age from newborn (born Wednesday) to 11 years old. There are males and females.

Soon they will have to free up kennel space for new dogs and if they don't find sponsors for the 130 dogs, they will have to be euthanized, Smith said.

A criminal complaint has been submitted to the district attorney for review, said Brian Cronin, chief of animal care and control. Because it is an open animal cruelty case, some details about the dogs and their living conditions are not available.

"It is extremely concerning when a self-proclaimed animal sanctuary fails to fulfill its commitment to the homeless animals it has accepted," Cronin said in a statement.

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Online:

— www.sbcounty.gov/acc

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