Thirty-nine Yorkshire Terrier mixes and several larger dogs — most filthy with matted fur — are being taken in by a Tri-City animal shelter after an eviction at a duplex in the region.
A landlord was evicting a tenant Thursday when authorities discovered the dogs in and outside the home, which was described as deplorable — with trash on the floors and dead rats.
The landlord contacted an animal rescue group which turned to the Benton-Franklin Humane Society in the Tri-Cities for help.
Volunteers were delivering the smaller dogs to the shelter Thursday. Officials said the larger dogs were expected to be brought in on Friday.
“That rescue wasn’t able to take any on,” said Elizabeth Lech, the Humane Society’s administration aid. “They didn’t have the space.”
Many of the dogs arrived in “pretty severe” condition with tangled knots of fur, untrimmed nails and more.
“The mattes are horrendous on some of them,” Lech said. “Some are in worse conditions than others.”
Lech said she could not release where the eviction took place, though initial reports were that it was in Hermiston, Ore.
Police were reportedly involved in the eviction but Lech said, “There’s currently no criminal investigation into this.”
“These are the kinds of things that are going on behind closed doors that we don’t really know,” said Lech. “Had this gone on longer, how many more litters would have been involved?”
Lech said large cases like this one can be hard on the agency’s resources.
Each of the dogs will need vaccinations, grooming and to be spayed or neutered before they are put up for adoption.
However, she expected some could be available as soon as next week. Some of the puppies will need to be older before they can be adopted.
“We are currently taking questionnaires for them right now,” Lech said.