Animal Control officers clad in hazmat suits were still removing dogs Thursday night from a palatial home in a gated community in Orange that was red-tagged after 136 dogs were found living in allegedly filthy condition.
Video from the scene showed Orange County Animal Care officials removing animals from the large home in the 3800 block of East Woodbine Avenue. Orange police said they were contacted by Animal Care officials around 2:20 p.m. after an anonymous tip for possible animal cruelty. The residents allowed officers to enter the home and conduct a welfare check on the animals.
"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," said Sgt. Phil McMullin, of the Orange Police Department.
Based on that inspection, the house was declared uninhabitable.
"There was very little furniture inside of that residence, and there was dog excrement, urine all over, inside, on the floor," said McMullen.
Police said the two residents of the home were given misdemeanor citations for animal cruelty, but the case was ongoing and further charges were possible.
The dogs were all small breeds, mostly Shih Tzus and Maltese poodles. Resident Lisa Paul said she purchased a dog from a woman living at the home. The puppy soon became ill and died at 4 years old.
"My stomach turned because I knew that's what it was," said Paul.
McMullen said some of the dogs has obvious health problems, but no further information was available on their condition.