UPDATE: Crews find, remove 22 dogs from Rossville mobile home
ROSSVILLE, WALKER COUNTY, GA (WRCB) – It's one of the worst cases of animal hoarding Walker County officials have seen.
Officers removed nearly two dozen dogs from a Rossville home Thursday. The floors and furniture in the home were caked in feces.
"It's bad in there," said Curtis Patterson, with Walker County Animal Control, "some of the feces in there is two feet thick."
Armed with hazmat suits and oxygen masks, Walker County Animal Control officers dug through animal waste to rescue several dogs from a Fairlane Oaks mobile home.
"They've brought out 11 animals so far," said Angela Cordell, who was watching from her window with her family.
By late afternoon, 22 Chihuahuas were rescued.
Piles of trash, furniture, and food made it difficult for officers to know for sure all the dogs were out.
The odor coming from the home made a few crew members sick.
"Looks to be one of those hoarding cases where somebody has had dogs in a trailer and all the connection they've had is coming back and feeding them," said Patterson, who shared pictures from inside the residence with Channel 3.
Property management tells Channel 3 the woman who owns the home has lived here for years.
"She hasn't been there in like a week," said Cordell, says the woman only visits to feed the dogs.
Neighbors reported an odor coming from the home two weeks ago.
Property managers became increasingly concerned when they no longer heard barking coming from the home and contacted authorities.
Now officers are working to locate the homeowner, who could face charges.
"That is sad," said Cordell, "if you don't want the animals then take them go take them to the dog pound or find homes for them."
The dogs were taken to the county shelter.
Officers are working to make contact with the owner, who they believe was tipped off to their visit.
The woman could face felony animal abuse charges.
Her home was boarded up, and will stay that way until code enforcement and the health department can inspect it.