Humane Society placing seized Shih Tzus in foster homes temporar - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Humane Society placing seized Shih Tzus in foster homes temporarily

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We have new details on the dozens of Shih Tzus removed from a Toledo home one day ago.

Gary Willoughby, the Executive Director of the Toledo Area Humane Society, says the dogs and puppies were well-fed and well-treated, but the problem was their dirty living conditions inside their home on the 1800 block of Perth.

According to Willoughby, the animals tested positive on Thursday for hookworm, which can be a dangerous parasitic infection.  He says it’s not humane to put even one of the 35 dogs back in the home right now.

Willoughby is not releasing pictures publicly unless it becomes necessary to press charges, but what looks like packed dirt is all over the floors.

However, the Humane Society is working with the owner to help try to clean up.

There are so many of them, the Shih Tzus go by number in the shelter.  Most don’t even have names.

"Some are a little dirty because the conditions they were living in were quite rough,” says Willoughby. “That's the main thing. they all needed to be cleaned up."

The Toledo Area Humane Society, with the help of the Toledo Police Department, seized 35 Shih Tzus from a West Toledo home on Wednesday which is owned by George Francel.

The 63-year-old says he has been breeding the dogs for more than a decade.

"They were like my children, since I don't have a family,” Francel told 13abc on Wednesday.

Cruelty officers removed the dogs with a search warrant after Francel ignored them as they investigated a complaint from a veterinarian.  On Thursday the Humane Society’s own veterinarians found they’re a good weight, but there is a health issue.

"They tested positive for hookworms which can be contagious to George himself, so we're going to work with the Health Department and George to try to make sure that he gets the care he needs. All of the animals are being treated for that right now,” says Willoughby.

Willoughby says Francel needs to make changes in his home before he feels safe putting any animals back there.

"He wants to do better. We want him to do better,” says Willoughby. “We have no desire to take in more animals."

The shelter is packed.

This was the agency’s second big animal seizure in a month.

In April the Humane Society removed 19 dogs and seven cats from a home in the 2200 block of Portsmouth which officials say was covered in feces.  The owner Michael Suiter pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty.  Many of those cats and dogs have already been adopted.  Four cats remain, as well as four dogs, including one named Max.

Most of the Shih Tzus are being placed in foster homes temporarily.  They still belong to Francel.

"We're trying to help George get in a situation where he can make the improvements at his house in order to bring the dogs back,” says Willoughby.

It’s too early to tell, but charges may not be filed against Francel.  It’s possible he could get some, but likely not all, of his dogs back.

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