The dogs were found in two homes on the 2000 block of E. Victoria Street between the city's Port Richmond and Bridesburg sections on Thursday.
The Pennsylvania SPCA said its officers were called to the location by the Philadelphia Police who were investigating a narcotics complaint at that location.
When police discovered the animals, they call in the Pennsylvania SPCA to assist.
Rescuers described the animals as small dogs, mostly Pomeranian and Chihuahuas.
Those dogs can command prices of up to $1,000.
"Usually you see cats and exotic animals, those are the type of things we see usually," said Wendy Marano of the SPCA. "But the fact that we see small, expensive dogs is really kind of unusual."
Most of the dogs were in good condition, but officers report that some of the dogs were in unsanitary conditions, in areas stained with feces and urine.
There is no word yet on any charges in this case.
By law, only 12 animals are allowed inside a home. Investigators are still trying to determine if the dogs were being illegally bred or hoarded.
"We're looking into that," Marano said. "We'll find out if they were breeding them and it got out of control."
Neighbors watched as the dogs were led out of the home.
"I'm really shocked because she took really good care of those dogs," said Joan Sklarz, who added she had no idea how many dogs were in the homes.
These dogs generally are in high demand for adoption. Officials at the SPCA are asking people to allow time for the investigation to unfold until putting in a request.
Meanwhile, police did not have additional details on the narcotics raid that began this investigation.