More than 100 Chihuahuas removed from Phila. home

July 15, 2010 8:44:54 AM PDT
Animal control officers raided a South Philadelphia home and confiscated more than 100 Chihuahuas.

Shortly after 6:30 p.m. along the 700 block of Earp Street, SPCA officials began removing the dogs from the three story row home.

The female homeowner, who is in her 50's, lives alone at the address.

"I can't believe you can have so many animals inside these tiny little houses," a neighbor said to Action News.

Animal officials label the woman as a 'typical hoarder.' Officials say the problem is that hoarders sometimes masquerade as rescuers, describing their homes as shelters, but officials say this home, as often is the case, was anything but.

"There was an overwhelming amount of feces on this property and that's what's making it unfit for a human to live in, let alone an animal," George Bengal of the PSPCA said.

The medical profession now recognizes hoarding as a medical disorder, a disease in which a person collects more animals than they can probably care for.

It's a problem officials say is becoming more prevalent.

Just last night, dozens of animals, both dead and alive, were found in an Olney woman's home, which was declared unfit for habitation by License and Inspection.

"We typically ask for psychological evaluations to get them some help, it does us no good and them no good if we just go in and take their animals out," Bengal said.

Some neighbors say the homeowner had a strong attachment to her Chihuahuas.

"She would probably give her life for them. She did love dogs, cats, she loved animals," one neighbor said.

Some were upset at neighbors who reported it to the SPCA.

"Whoever did this to her, every dog will get their day," neighbor Kristin Cruz said.

Officials say the dogs appear to be OK. They hope the courts will order the owner to seek help.