CLEVELAND -- Hundreds of neglected dogs have been rescued from an overcrowded kennel in Richland County. Now, the enormous task is to find caring homes for these animals. As many as 280 Chihuahuas and 41 Shar Peis were removed from a family-owned kennel in Shelby, Ohio last week.
The Richland County Humane Society, along with the Humane Society of the United States, moved in to take the animals after learning of the sad situation there. The breeder is in hospice care and her husband died of a heart attack earlier this month, leaving the dogs to fend for themselves.
Amy Beichler, executive director of PAWS Ohio, said the Cleveland rescue group took in nine Chihuahuas and three Shar Peis, no matter their medical needs.
"If you look at the dogs, it's obvious that the neglect had been going on for quite some time," Beichler said.
Over the next two days, the dogs will be seen by a veterinarian to assess their medical needs.
"You have hair loss, you have respiratory problems, you have ingrown toenails that will have to be surgically removed. So, there are a lot of things going on with these dogs that are indicative of a kennel gone completely bad," Beichler added.
PAWS Ohio has also arranged foster homes for the dogs it rescued. Fox 8 viewer Jaime Granatir answered the call for help and will be fostering a Chihuahua.
"I got on the website to get the PAWS information cause I just wanted to help any way I could. I felt so bad for the poor little guys," she said.
Jacqueline Dias has fostered dozens of cats, but now will provide a temporary home for two of the Shar Peis.
"These animals have no one to advocate for them. They don't have a voice and someone needs to stand up for them," Diaz added.
These dogs will remain in foster homes for several weeks to up to several months until they are medically cleared to be adopted.
PAWS Ohio is handling the adoption of the 12 dogs it rescued.
For more information on adoption, go to www.PAWSOhio.org.