Erie's A.N.N.A. Shelter Saves 51 Dogs from Horrifying Hoarding Situation
Dozens of dogs, all found in horrendous conditions, were rescued in Utica, Pa. Monday.
Erie’s A.N.N.A. shelter was called in to help with the cruelty and neglect investigation in Venango County, on Monday.
According to Deputy Ryan Williams, with the Venango County Sheriff's Department, the investigation had been ongoing for several months. They were tipped off to the hoarding situation through several complaints.
Williams tells Erie News Now, the homeowner, Barbara Lopez, a woman in her 70s, was arrested on a bench warrant in connection to a prior animal cruelty case.
She has not been charged with this animal abuse case. Her husband, who also lives in the home, relinquished all of the animals to the A.N.N.A. Shelter.
"It was good to be able to get the animals out of there - to a place where they can get some medical care - the veterinary care that they need - and be adopted out," said Williams.
Following Lopez' arrest, A.N.N.A. Shelter volunteers entered the home and discovered what they describe as “quite possibly the worst we have encountered since we started working with cruelty/neglect cases.”
In just over an hour, they removed 51 dogs from a trailer. Some were reportedly being kept in birdcages, others in wooden boxes or in kitchen cabinets.
All 51 dogs were starving and dehydrated, according to the shelter, with at least 19 of them confirmed to be pregnant. Ages range from 11 weeks to 8 years old most being spaniel mixes, along with beagle and lab mixes.
According to the ANNA Shelter’s Facebook page:
“The majority of the dogs are very sweet albeit frightened but eager for human contact and attention...not to mention food and water. Some have deformations - one has only three legs; one has no toes; one has only one ear; two have only one eye; most have over or under bites; most have hair loss/dry skin; and most of the males have battle scars from scrapping with each other.”
A local veterinarian and clinic and shelter staff have been working tirelessly to triage the dogs and get them on their way to recovery.
The A.N.N.A. Shelter says all of the dogs have been surrendered to them and will be available for adoption as they are released by their veterinarians.
In the meantime, the shelter is requesting donations to help cover the enormous medical costs to care for the 51 animals.