The dogs included a puppy and a pregnant female. Some of the dogs were emaciated and so frail they had to be carried to safety.
The agency's Humane Law Enforcement team obtained a search warrant in Marcus Hook, Delaware County, last Friday to investigate complaints about conditions at a property being used by Sixth Angel Shepherd Rescue Inc.
The SPCA says:
"Instead of providing care for animals in need, the "rescue" became a nightmare for the animals living inside according to the official complaints. Dogs were kept in closets and crates, and the stench of built-up waste was overwhelming. One by one into the early hours of the next morning, Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement officers carefully and lovingly removed the dogs. Some were so frail they had to be carried out."
Back at SPCA headquarters in Philadelphia, the shelter and veterinary staff went into action. Some dogs were emaciated while others had severe medical conditions requiring immediate attention. All exhibited the terror and distrust that come from ill-treatment at the hands of a human, the SPCA said.
The owner of the rescue organization faces multiple cruelty charges.
“We are so glad to have saved these dogs, but the reality of large scale rescue operations such as this is that our work isn’t over until all the pets are in safe, new loving homes,” said Angela Messer, Director of Operations for the Pennsylvania SPCA. “Until then, the increased animal population is a strain on our resources. We are asking people to help us get through this by opening their homes to a pet in need or to donate.”
To encourage adoptions, most adult dogs are now available for 50 percent off their current adoption fee. The Pennsylvania SPCA Adoption Center is open weekdays from 1 to 8 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information about the adoption procedure and application can be found online here.