Constables serving an eviction notice Thursday found the Phoenix, Arizona, home vacant — except for an estimated 35 Chihuahuas apparently abandoned by the former resident, KPTV reported.
“There’s a lot of feces in the property,” said Carolyn Lane, a Maricopa County constable, The Arizona Republic reported. A photo provided by the constables shows debris and feces littering the floor as dogs wander around inside the mostly empty home.
“Once in a while I can smell the dogs, like out in front of my front door sometimes if the wind’s blowing from their direction, you walk out and it’s like, ‘Whoa, dog!’ ” said neighbor William Sherry, KTVK reported.
But Arizona Humane Society officials who inspected the home found a working window air-conditioning unit along with food and water for the dogs, KPTV said.
Because the dogs appear to be in good health despite the filthy conditions, they could not be removed without giving the owner 72 hours to collect them, KTVK reported.
“Animals are personal property,” Lane said, according to The Arizona Republic. “You can’t just take them. You have to try and reach the owners and have them come get them. That’s the process.”
Humane Society officials said they would check on the dogs each day and might remove them sooner if the air conditioning or power went out, KPTV reported.
The home had been in foreclosure and the new owners asked for the current tenant to be evicted, KTVK reported.
Shore said neighbors knew the man had a lot of dogs, but said they were only occasionally loud and didn’t cause any problems, KPTV reported.
“I knew there was an awful lot, they’re all over the place,” Sherry said, according to The Arizona Republic. “They’re hard to count.”