Nearly 140 dogs were rescued on Thursday from a smelly million-dollar farm in California by animal control officials in hazmat suits, the authorities say.
The Orange County police were tipped anonymously at about 2.20 p.m. about possible animal abuse in the huge house within a gated community in the 3800 block of East Woodbine Road.
Rescuers were shocked when they found 136 sick and starving dogs in the house in deplorable conditions and it took them hours to carry out the many animals one by one.
Scroll down for video
Animal control officials had to wear hazmat suits to rescue 136 dogs from the smelly house in California
The neglected dogs, mainly Shih Tzus, were covered with their own excrement and many were clearly sick
Heartbreaking images show the parade of ragged puppies that are being brought out by the dangerously dressed rescue workers.
Covered in faeces, urine and fleas, many of the neglected animals had clear health problems.
They were mostly small breeds, including Shih Tzus and Maltese, and ranged from puppies to old dogs.
Rescuers said that the stench inside was unbearable and that the two-story house was quickly tagged red and declared uninhabitable.
& # 39; There was very little furniture in that home, and there was dog excrement, urine, all over the floor, & # 39; Sgt. Phil McMullen from the Orange Police Department told CBSLA.
& # 39; It seemed unlivable. The smell was unbearable for me. I am surprised how people can live in that situation. & # 39;
The people who live in the mansion, Jo (left) and Edward (right), Reitkopp, were cited for misconduct for animal abuse, although those charges could later be upgraded to crimes. She is involved in Republican party politics and he is a lawyer
Orange County police received an anonymous tip about possible animal abuse at the royal house within a gated community in the 3800 block of East Woodbine Road
The authorities said that the smell in the house was unbearable and that the dogs were present in every room
The homeowners, Edward and Jo Reitkopp, were named for animal abuse crime, KTLA reported.
But the case is ongoing and the officials said those charges could later be raised to crimes.
Ed Reitkopp is a lawyer, and Jo is an organizer of President Donald Trump, according to the station.
Some of the rescued dogs, ranging from puppies to older dogs, clearly had poor health
There were so many dogs in the house that the rescue of the destroyed creatures took hours to complete
The dogs were put in an Orange County Animal Care truck and taken to a local vet for medical assessment
It looks like the house was used as a puppy mill.
Neighbor Lisa Paul said she bought a Shih Tzu puppy from the woman in 2010, but it had health problems and died when she was four years old.
Paul told KTLA that she was shocked to discover that the dogs had lived in dirty conditions.
Two of the neglected dogs are sitting in an animal fighting truck. They are treated at a local veterinarian and are expected to be offered for adoption
Neighbor Lisa Paul said she bought a Shih Tzu puppy from Jo Reitkopp in 2010, but it had health problems and died just four years old
The million-dollar house of the Reitkopp has red labels and is declared uninhabitable
& # 39; When I went upstairs and I saw that this was this house, I just broke out crying, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; It really bothers us, it is inhumane, a tragedy, it is sad & # 39 ;, another local resident told KTLA.
It is unclear in what condition the rescued dogs are, but they receive veterinary care and are expected to be offered for adoption.
& # 39; It's all hands on deck. We now have staff here to make sure that each dog is properly cared for, comfortably accommodated and that we then monitor them, "Mike Kaviani told Orange County Animal Care KTLA.
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) news (t) California