33 animals crammed into small house

posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 in News

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As ARL Animal Services officers entered the small Des Moines house, they were overcome by what they saw, heard … and smelled. There were 33 animals (31 dogs and 2 cockatiels) crammed so tightly into the tiny space that our rescuers could barely move. Every dog was barking at the top of their lungs – as if they were pleading to be saved from the conditions they had been living in. 

And those conditions were terrible.

Floors in every room were coated with layers of dog feces, and urine stood in puddles on the warped flooring. The dogs were covered in fleas and some had scabbing and significant hair loss. The tiniest, flea-infested puppies were only a week old.

They needed help, and fast.

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Sadly, this wasn’t the first time animals had to be rescued from this home. In 2019, 26 animals were rescued from similar living conditions. City officials had intervened to have the house fully cleaned out at the time because it was deemed a health risk, but in the past four years the owner had collected new animals, and living conditions were even worse … they are so dangerous now that the home has been deemed uninhabitable. Sadly the animals were not the only ones who had been suffering inside this home. The people living there also suffered a great deal. Hoarding situations are absolutely heartbreaking for all involved.

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Back at the shelter, our Emergency Care Team met the dogs when they arrived to begin their evaluations and immediate treatments. Besides severe flea infestations, scabbing, open sores and hair loss, some of the dogs are suffering from ear infections, nearly all have serious dental problems, and at least one will require eye surgery for an untreated condition.

These dogs didn’t deserve to live like this – no animal or human does. But with your help, they can start to heal.

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Your donation today to our Miracle Medical Fund will help give them and others like them the medical care they need to start the next chapter of their lives free of pain and discomfort. Your monthly gift will help find them loving homes and ensure we can always be there for pets in need whenever they need us.

Plus, when you give to help these pets now your gift will be doubled – up to $7,500 – thanks to a generous matching gift opportunity from Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Your donation will make twice the difference!

Please give today to show these pets and so many others that beyond the suffering, there is hope.


P.S.:  When you donate today or join our Loyal Friends Club monthly giving program, you’ll be automatically enrolled to receive updates on the animals from this case. While our role in this case is to help the animals, social services is also involved to assist the people in this case.