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‘The Smell Was Unbearable’: 136 Dogs Removed from California Mansion


California police found more than 130 dogs on Thursday at an Orange County mansion, where the conditions were said to be “unlivable.”

Authorities were crystal clear about what things looked–and smelled–like in the home.

“There was very little furniture inside of that residence, and there was dog excrement, urine all over, inside, on the floor,” Sgt. Phil McMullen of the Orange Police Department said. “It appeared to be unlivable. The smell was unbearable for me. I’m surprised how people can live in that situation.”

Orange County Animal Care had to put on hazmat suits on and don masks in order to handle the 136 dogs found inside. Officials say that each and every one of the animals will receive appropriate care and housing.

“It’s all hands on deck. We have staff here right now making sure that every single dog is properly cared for, comfortably housed, and then we’re going to be monitoring them,” Mike Kaviani from Orange County Animal Care said.

The homeowners, identified as Edward Reitkopp and Jo Reitkopp, were each cited for misdemeanor animal cruelty. Police said that the charges could be elevated to felonies.

An anonymous tipster called the Orange County Police Department about animal cruelty at the house, according to McMullen. “I was shocked to learn that people were living inside the house, based on the conditions that I saw and could smell just from the front door opening,” Sgt. McMullen said.

“Based on what was found inside of the home, it was deemed to be uninhabitable and the city of Orange Code Enforcement [team] red-tagged the residence,” McMullen said. “Also based on the condition of the animals, the poor health that some of them were in, different stages, the two occupants of the home were issued citations, misdemeanors for animal cruelty.”

The dogs are being treated by a local veterinarian and are expected to be put up for adoption.

[Screengrab via ABC 7]

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