A total of 36 dogs and six rabbits were rescued from basement cages in Southeast DC on Wednesday, as part of an animal cruelty investigation led by Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) Humane Law Enforcement officers.
The officers launched an animal control investigation and obtained a search and seizure warrant after receiving an anonymous tip on the mistreatment of dozens of animals at a property on the 2900 block of Branch Avenue.
HLE officers with HRA found 42 animals, including 33 Great Danes, one Doberman, one pit bull-type dog, one chihuahua mix and six rabbits. They were all kept in extremely unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
Some of the dogs were confined to one small cage, living amongst their own waste, while their walls were covered in blood and feces, according to a press release by HRA. The animals also did not have access to food or water.
There was evidence that the owner could be selling the animals. They also found the remains of several puppies in a mini refrigerator.
“The conditions in which these animals were forced to live in is gut-wrenching,” said Chris Schindler, vice president of field services at the HRA. “I am relieved they are now safe and in the hands of people who will provide them with the love and proper care they need and deserve, thanks to the community members who reported the neglect and our team who conducted a thorough investigation.”
The animals were transported to an undisclosed location, where they will be examined by veterinarians and receive necessary care. The investigation will continue.