The owners of Dockery Recycling in Selma believe several dogs were dumped at a nearby trash site by someone who could no longer care for them. They said those canines continued to breed and now they're struggling to keep up with the number of strays.
"They stick together, they get along, they're nice, but you can't pet them," said Dockery Recycling owner Heather Carpenter.
It's one of the cutest problems you may have seen.
"We've rescued a total of 18 puppies with four different Moms and it's just crazy," said Carpenter.
When Heather and her husband Josh moved their recycling business just two doors down from where it used to sit at Dockery and Golden State in Selma last January, they discovered a major doggie dilemma. And it appears the abandoned pets are now giving birth to numerous litters of puppies.
"Where do you think these dogs are coming from?" asked Action News Reporter Linda Mumma. "I don't know, honestly I don't know. I don't know if they're dumped next door because it's a trash site and they come to us because they know we're feeding the other ones. I don't know, but they're a pack."
Carpenter said she's seen five dogs roam free in the neighborhood since the couple moved in. Four of them are female and one of them is pregnant. The couple is concerned the canines are scaring away customers.
"We're trying to get the business going, but meanwhile every day its dogs running through the yard," said General Manager Jeremiah. "Not only can they get hurt themselves, but who knows what could happen with other people, when they bring kids in and stuff."
One of the biggest disruptions happened this week, when police and fire crews were called out to rescue six puppies from a 50 foot drainage ditch on the property.
"It was quite an ordeal, we had two engines out here, we had public works out here," said Jeremiah. "They really did a phenomenal job to get the puppies out. Digging them out of the dens they actually made in the back," said Jeremiah.
The pups were cold, wet and covered in mud. Some were in such bad shape, they were taken to a nearby vet office, where one of them later died from hypothermia. At least two are receiving around-the-clock care.
"The body temperatures of the dogs were too low, the thermometers couldn't read it. So they were in a hypothermic situation," said Steven Lopez. "The other thing is the skin condition was off about the dogs. They probably have demodectic mange (caused by mites), but with medication hopefully the hair will start growing back in places." The Carpenters are now asking for your help in capturing the animals so they can get them fixed.
"I know no one would ever rescue them and keep them as a backyard pet, I know that they would be put down and I just can't do that. I have a heart and I would at least like to get them fixed, but we can't have any more puppies," said Heather.
As for the puppies, Lopez said it's going to be at least a few more weeks before they're healthy enough for adoption.
In the meantime, the Carpenter's vet bills continue to grow and the cost to feed the other dogs is getting tough to afford. To prevent them from being put down, the couple would like to build them an enclosure they can't escape. To donate, click here: www.facebook.com/dockery.recycling