40 dogs living in filthy conditions seized from Fresno County home

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- What started as a crackdown on gangs quickly turned into an animal rescue after more than 40 dogs were discovered in deplorable conditions at a home in Fresno's Mayfair District.

Deputies and officers were at the house to serve a search warrant but they were stunned by what they found.

Now it could prompt an animal cruelty investigation.

"The stench... the smell... how a human or animal could live in there was beyond any of us," recalls Sgt. Brian Schulte of the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

It's often said there's nothing routine about a job in law enforcement.

While deputies and officers are trained to expect the unexpected, this was a call that stunned even the most seasoned of veterans.

Schulte, with Fresno County's Multi Agency Gang Enforcement consortium, says he was with his nine team members.

"I've been in law enforcement for almost 20 years - it is by far the worst living conditions I've ever seen in my career," he says. "When we were getting ready to make entry, you could just hear the amount of dogs inside on the other side of the door. It was almost overwhelming. Plus the stench that came from the door - you could immediately smell the urine and feces."

The home was littered with trash and animal feces.

Because of the obvious signs of distress of the dogs, the team's investigation efforts quickly pivoted to saving the animals.

Schulte calls their relationship with Animal Control services invaluable.

"They can come, they can deal with animals safely and effectively and it's important that they can get the care they need as well."

Though the dogs appear to be in good health, many will require treatment for various skin conditions because of what they were living in.

The SPCA is welcoming donations.

To report animal cruelty and neglect in the Fresno area, contact CCSPCA at (559) 233-7722.
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