One hundred small dogs have been removed from a Taylorsville home in what city officials say is “the biggest and worst” animal hoarding case they’ve seen.
Officers from animal agencies removed from a house, near 5700 Easton Street, 68 of the dogs, mostly chihuahua and terrier mixes Thursday. They took 32 more Friday, said David Moss, director of animal services for Taylorsville and West Valley City.
“They were all over the place,” Moss said. “Surprisingly, they’re in fairly decent condition. [The owner] was feeding them; they’re a healthy weight. There are some we’re going to need to get to a veterinarian, but most of them are in fair condition.”
Moss said crews on Friday laid traps to catch the remaining dogs that have so far “burrowed in” and hidden from rescuers.
Investigators aren’t certain where all of the dogs came from, but 10 to 15 are puppies, which indicates that the dogs have been breeding, Moss said.
The city’s animal shelter already was nearing capacity when the dogs were discovered. Animal service workers from West Jordan, South Jordan and Salt Lake County were caring for them.
“Right now, we’re doubling and tripling them up,” Moss said.
The city is asking the owner to give up the dogs permanently, Moss said. If she refuses, the city will seek a court order.
The dogs likely will be placed in rescues and foster homes, and Moss said he was “very confident” they eventually will go to homes. Most of the dogs have been well-behaved, and any that are aggressive will be sent to rescues for rehabilitation, Moss said. The Taylorsville shelter is a no-kill shelter.
The dogs that are spayed or neutered will be available for adoption by early next week, Moss said.
“The last time we had a case like this, the public responded really great and within a few weeks all the dogs [were out of the shelter],” Moss said, referring to the discovery of nearly 60 poodles in a Taylorsville home in 2016.
Moss wouldn’t discuss what, if any, charges the owner may face. He referred those questions to the Taylorsville city attorney, who had not returned The Salt Lake Tribune’s calls as of Friday evening.
According to Taylorsville code, residents may not own more than “two adult dogs, cats, or ferrets of any one species and no more than four total dogs, cats or ferrets in any combination.”