More than 250 Chihuahuas, other dogs removed from Shelby kennel

SHELBY, Ohio - Humane Society workers were removing more than 250 dogs from a Shelby kennel Thursday night.

One by one, the dogs were photographed, given a de-wormer and pill for fleas, and checked for infections. Richland County humane officers have been repeating this process since Tuesday, as well as scraping feces from the bottom of cages.

"It's just really sad that any kind of animal has to live like that, as basically in prison instead of as a family pet," said Tammi Rex with the Humane Society of Richland County.

Rex said the number of Chihuahuas and Shar Peis is so overwhelming that they had no choice but to call the national humane society for assistance.

"When we got here, we realized this is something that we need to move on right away," said Jennifer Kulina-Lanese, a Field Officer with the Humane Society of the United States.

Kulina-Lanese doesn't know how long the dogs have been here this way, but said the owner of this Shelby kennel died this past weekend and the owner's wife is very sick. Since the wife is ill and working with the Humane Society to get the dogs proper care, officers said they do not plan to press charges.

"The type of care that they said they were used to giving the animals, they weren't receiving at this time. So they contacted the Richland County Humane Society and asked for help, and we're very thankful for that," Kulina-Lanese said.

It's not clear exactly how well the owners actually took care of the dogs. Online posts from 2010 accuse the kennel business of being a puppy mill. According to the humane society, there are no regulations on puppy mills in the state of Ohio, making it even harder for authorities to prevent these types of situations.

"I do believe that she cared about the animals. It's very much a hoarder-type mentality when they really do believe they care about the animals and they're doing what's best for them," Rex said. "I would caution anybody that they're only so many animals that you can properly take care of. After you get several, you're not properly taking care of them."

As early as Friday, the dogs will be going to approved volunteer shelters all across the country.

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