TAYLORSVILLE, Utah, Aug. 23, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — As many as 100 small dogs were found alive but neglected in a home in Taylorsville on Thursday night in what an official is calling the “worst” hoarder case he has ever seen.
The animals were found at a residence in the area of 5700 S. Easton Street (2600 West) after police were called to check on the home at around 5 p.m., David Moss, director of West Valley Animal Services, told Gephardt Daily.
At least one neighbor allegedly called police because of the stench coming from the home; Moss said officials soon discovered around 100 small dogs, including chihuahuas, terrier mixes and other mixed breeds all over the house. The elderly woman who lives in the home left in a vehicle at some point during the evening. It’s not clear yet how she acquired the dogs, or if she will be facing charges.
“We haven’t seen one this bad before. We’ve been on a lot of hoarder cases, we deal with some that are pretty bad, but this seems to be the worst we’ve dealt with,” Moss said. “My officers initially went in, looked at it, the smell was bad enough, the fumes, the toxicity of it was bad enough, so we did an assessment with the fire department and they said we need to be out for a while.
“They helped evacuate some air. They used some fans, they opened it up, they ventilated it, and now we’re able to go back in and we’re starting to pull the dogs out now.”
By 10 p.m., crews had pulled out around 40 animals from the home and they will be transported to safety at the local shelter. The remainder of the animals are likely to be removed from the house Friday morning.
Moss said after all the animals are rescued, officials will be looking into whether there have been previous reports of issues at the residence.
He added: “People who work with Animal Services are animal lovers and it’s sad to see the condition these animals are in. They are moving around, they seem to be in fairly decent condition, but I haven’t put hands on. They’re aggressive, so we’re using the gloves, using protection. They haven’t been trained at all or anything like that.”
Moss said that all of his animal control officers are on scene and they have been assisted by South Jordan and West Jordan Animal Services. In total, at least 10 animal control trucks responded to the residence.
He added that the building itself is going to be condemned by the health department.
“That’s one of the reasons we have to get them out of here,” Moss said. “I initially asked if we could shelter them in place and come deal with it tomorrow, but they’re in bad enough condition that we needed to do it.”
Moss said the next step is to assess the dogs individually.
“We’re going to assess the animals one at a time as we take them off the truck,” he said. “We’re going to make sure they have food and water, they’re put in a safe place tonight, then in the morning, we’re probably going to start calling people and asking for help.
“We’re pretty full right now ourselves, and we’ve called some of the other animal shelters already, and they’re pretty full, so we’re going to be getting with our partner organizations, our rescues, to see what we can do to house these until we can get them adopted out.”
Moss said state law requires that Animal Services waits for five days until it can take ownership of the dogs, and each animal needs to be evaluated by a veterinarian; then, they may be sent to rescue groups that will take care of them and rehabilitate them until they are ready to be adopted.
Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.