Wednesday, May 6, 2015

43 Chihuahuas taken from Bensalem home

Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Animal humane officers removed more than 40 Chihuahuas, including 16 puppies, from a Bensalem home, after a situation that authorities believe spiraled out of control when the family could not afford to have the dogs fixed.

“They didn’t think it was that many,” said Anne Irwin, director of the Bucks County SPCA, which is mulling possible criminal charges against the unidentified owners.
The 43 dogs — all family pets living in a small rancher-style home — are in reasonably good health and do not appear to have been mistreated or abused, officials said. They were removed from the home after the Bensalem animal control officer notified the SPCA last week about the situation.
The newspaper was unsuccessful in immediately reaching Bensalem animal control officer Sarah Barrett for comment Wednesday.
The owners initially cooperated with the humane officers and surrendered 10 puppies and a nursing mother dog last week, Irwin said.
But when the officers returned Monday, the family stopped cooperating and a search warrant was obtained to remove the remaining animals, Irwin said.
The remaining dogs were removed from the house Tuesday.
While the dogs appear to be healthy, a veterinarian will examine the dogs once they are less stressed, Irwin said. The puppies are all under 8 weeks old, she added. None of the dogs is available for adoption at this point, she added.
Irwin said investigators believe the owners simply lost control of the situation after adopting a “few” dogs, and they could not afford to have them neutered or spayed and didn’t know about low-cost clinics. The family has given away some of the puppies in the past, she added.
“The situation snuck up on them I think,” Irwin said.
The SPCA plans to return some of the dogs to the family after an agreement can be reached for how many dogs is a “manageable number,” Irwin said. The owners have also agreed to have the dogs neutered before they are returned.
“They want to do right by the dogs,” she added.

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