Follow-up: Humane Society returns 5 of 35 seized Shih Tzus to To - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Follow-up: Humane Society returns 5 of 35 seized Shih Tzus to Toledo man

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Two months after the Toledo Area Humane Society seized dozens of Shih Tzus from a Toledo dog breeder’s home, the owner is reunited with five of his dogs.

No animal cruelty charges are being filed.

Gary Willoughby, the Executive Director of the Toledo Area Humane Society, says the owner George Francel made major progress in cleaning his home on the 1800 block of Perth Street these last eight weeks.

Five Shih Tzus returned home on Wednesday.  They have been spayed and neutered.  All but three of the rest of the dogs have been adopted. 


One by one, they walk down the hall of the Toledo Area Humane Society shelter in Maumee and into the arms of one doggone happy man.

63-year-old George Francel left the shelter and drove home with five of his 35 Shih Tzus.

"I'm just blessed and happy that I have the five,” says Francel.

"This is what you hope for every time,” says Willoughby.

On May 7th, the Toledo Area Humane Society executed a search warrant with the help of police officers at Francel’s home.  The Humane Society seized all 35 of the dogs and puppies after a veterinarian filed a complaint about their health and dirty living conditions.

At the time, Francel thought the shelter was his enemy.  Francel, who has a kennel license with the city, began breeding Shih Tzus with his mother 12 years ago. After she died last year, Francel says he lost control of the litters.

"I thought I could handle it myself, but they came at just the right time,” says Francel.

"We could tell his heart was in the right place, he just needed some time to get his life in order, get his house organized,” says Willoughby.

According to the Humane Society, all of the Shih Tzus tested positive for hookworm.  Some had heart murmurs.  One of the dogs died after surgery.

"He has gotten rid of a lot of debris in the back yard as well as the areas where the animals would walk and sleep and live,” says Willoughby.

Francel agrees five is more manageable than 35.  Honey Bunch, Sweet Pea, Sissy, Lucia, and Pepito have been spayed and neutered.  All but three of the others have been adopted, mostly by foster families.

"The fact that they came in to help me and also found a lot of great homes for the dogs is my prayer, actually,” says Francel.

However, there is no court order stopping Francel from getting new dogs to breed.

"He did have a license before, so if he somehow decided to do that in the future, there's no law against that, but we will be there to make sure it doesn't get out of control again,” says Willoughby.

Francel says he has no plans to get new dogs to breed, but if he does in the future he won’t have more than one mother.

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