On July 19th, a Riverside, California resident contacted authorities regarding a foul odor of decay coming from a neighbor’s home. What the officers found inside was akin to a horror movie according to John Welsh, senior public information specialist with the Riverside County Department of Animal Services (RCDAS).
Welsh spoke of his experience inside the house to Fox 11 Los Angeles:
“We’re talking a scene from ‘Silence of the Lambs… It was the smell of death.”
Close to 40 Pit Bulls were found abandoned and trapped inside – 11 of them already deceased from starvation and neglect. Another passed away shortly after help arrived. The remaining dogs were in various states of emaciation, and all were in desperate need of veterinary care. Some were timid and wary of the rescuers, but others rushed forward, desperate for human contact.
27 surviving dogs were removed from the home – some so weak they had to be carried – and transported to the RCDAS to receive emergency care. The Pitties range in age from 8 months to 10 years. They were likely bred by Carl Dixon, the man who was renting the home and is believed to be the owner of the dogs. Dixon has publicly spoken out in support of Pit Bull breeding in California.
Wags and Walks, an L.A. based non-profit rescue organization, took in a total of 10 of the Pit Bulls and started them on the long and bumpy path to recovery. They have begun to show the results of what healthy diets, veterinary care, and lots of love can do – check out Ted’s transformation below. The dogs are almost unrecognizable as the pitiful creatures they were just weeks ago.
Despite their physical health, the dogs still bear the emotional scars of life without socialization or security. Welsh is confident that with continued affection and care, each of these sweet survivors will make wonderful pets. Thanks to Wags and Walks, they are already being showered with all the love they deserve.
Carl Dixon is currently being held without bail at Men’s Central Jail in L.A. on charges of drug trafficking. His sentence began in May, and it appears he simply left the dogs in the home without anyone to care for them. When Dixon was contacted, he refused to comment and directed all inquiries to his lawyer.
Police are also searching for Dixon’s wife, Kim Delagos who may bear some of the responsibility for the dogs’ plight. Arrest warrants are being sought for both Dixon and Delagos while Riverside officers continue to investigate the case.
John Welsh feels that the dogs are most likely to thrive with families who understand the special needs of abused dogs. If you live in California and believe you may be able to help one of these gentle souls heal, contact Wags and Walks for information on adoption.
A GoFundMe campaign was also started on behalf of the “Riverside 10” with the $10,000 goal being met in just one week! Additional funds collected will be put towards continued veterinary bills and the countless other dogs the group works to save.
Featured Image: David Bauman via What’s going on in Riverside, County? Facebook page
H/T to The Dodo
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