Into the Light

Category: Winter 2017 137 0

From a hoarder’s house to a safe haven

In early December, San Diego Humane Society’s Special Response Team rescued 78 dogs, including 14 puppies, from a very sad hoarding situation in El Cajon. The team discovered these dogs living in horribly unsanitary conditions, with dirt and feces piled up around them inside the house. Worse, most of the dogs had never been outside.

SDHS provided quick response to this devastating situation with onsite medical examinations and then transported the dogs for triage and further medical care at their San Diego Campus. Fortunately, the dogs were fairly well nourished, although many were covered with fleas or suffered from severe skin conditions like inflamed and raw skin or open lesions. Surprisingly, the owner of these dogs seemed grateful for help; it was clear he felt great sympathy for the animals but couldn’t keep up with their care.

“We see this type of situation often when well-intentioned animal lovers become overwhelmed with the immense number of animals in their home—78 animals is certainly an intense number,” says SDHS president Gary Weitzman. “Our goal at San Diego Humane Society is to end animal suffering, and we’re committed to helping all animals within our reach. Protecting animals is our mission and our humane officers are sworn in under oath in California to protect animals from cruelty and neglect. We never hesitate—these animals all deserve a second chance. The well-being of these dogs is at the top of our priorities. After acclimating them to their new environment, we’ll address each of their individual needs and get them into homes as soon as possible.”

You can stay informed on how the dogs are recovering and when they become available for adoption by following #78dogs, or visiting or


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