The Humane Society has removed hundreds of puppies from a Richland County kennel. Those puppies are now being taken care of all across Ohio, including Toledo.
More than a dozen of the rescued dogs are being taken care of by the Toledo Area Humane Society.
15 Chihuahuas and 3 Shar-peis, ranging in age from one to ten years old, arrived at the Toledo Area Humane Society on Friday.
"We're happy that they're here," says Debbie Johnson, Director of Operations for the Toledo Area Humane Society. "It's certainly the start of a better life for them."
Staff drove down to a breeding facility in Shelby, Ohio, to rescue them from what's described as a "puppy mill turned hoarding" situation after one owner passed away and the other was admitted to a Hospice facility. A family friend contacted the Humane Society of Richland County to get help for the more than 240 Chihuahuas and 40 Shar-peis inside that kennel. There were two or three Chihuahuas to a cage.
"They're stacked cage on top of a cage," says a Richland County Humane Society worker. "It's just really sad that any kind of animal lives like this in prison instead of as a family pet."
Johnson says the dogs in Toledo are doing well.
"They have some medical issues, but everything is very treatable which is lucky," says Johnson. "They had bad flea infestations, so they have skin issues, they have a lot of eye issues, a lot of dental issues because they haven't received regular veterinary care."
Veterinary staff is evaluating and treating these Shar-peis and Chihuahuas. And it's possible they could be put up for adoption in a week.
"Luckily they seem pretty happy with people," says Johnson. "They are fairly social, nobody is too terrified, they all want to interact with people so that's one of the biggest concerns with puppy mills."
In Richland County officers say they do not plan on pressing charges because the owner is very sick and is working with the Humane Society to get the dogs care.