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ELYRIA, Ohio — Four dogs have been recovered, living in filth inside of a foreclosed house on Woodford Street in Elyria.

Investigators believe the animals were there for about 8 to 9 months during the cold winter months and also the recent hot days.

A person working for the finance company that now has control of the property went there on Friday to change the locks and noticed the dogs inside of the home.

Lorain County Dog Warden Jack Szlempa responded with back up from law enforcement.

Inside he says “conditions were deplorable and unfit for man or beast.”

One dog had chewed her way into a wall, and had to be delicately removed from the wall.

The dogs appear to be a cocker spaniel, two cairn terriers and a terrier mix. All are infested with fleas, with matted fur and sores all over their little bodies.

Greg Willey, Executive Dir. of the Friendship Animal Protective league in Elyria was contacted to help with their care because they are in such bad shape.

“All of them have a variety of infections,” said Willey.

Ironically it could have been a lot worse. It appears as if the dogs vacated owner was sneaking back to the house to leave them food and water, if nothing else.

Willey says, none of the dogs are suffering from malnutrition or dehydration but it was clear they had also not had human contact for quite some time.

“It took a long time for the dogs to warm up to us to get readapted to humane contact,” said Willey.

An animal cruelty investigation has been launched against the owner and she could face a number of neglect charges. Investigators could be more lenient on her if she cooperates with them now. Mr. Willey says they need her to come forward and surrender the animals so that they can get the care they need and be adopted to good homes.

“So if she’s out there and cares about these dogs at all, we’d love for her to come down and surrender the dogs over to us whatever action or fines will be decided based one  her willingness to come forward and help us get these dogs into nice homes,” said Willey.

In addition to these four dogs, the Friendship APL is already caring for 32 other dogs, and 240 cats.

Mr. Willey says they would greatly appreciate any donations.