BLACK ROCK, AR (KAIT) - Over 40 dogs were rescued from a Black Rock home in an animal hoarding investigation.
Black Rock police were first made aware of the situation after receiving complaints regarding another case at the residence, according to an incident report.
Upon arriving at the residence, an officer with the Black Rock Police Department stated a strong odor was coming from the residence as well as the sound of several dogs inside the home.
The occupants did not allow the officer to enter the home, according to the report.
The officer was asked to return to the home in a separate Department of Human Services investigation for safety reasons and upon entering the home, reported the smell of ammonia from animal feces being so strong, he could not enter farther than 5 to 6 feet inside.
The report states the homeowners placed a gate in the doorway of the home to keep all the dogs in the kitchen and dining room area.
In an initial count, the officer said there were at least 42 dogs of various breeds and sizes.
The officer reported seeing more dogs but said he had to exit the residence after experiencing breathing difficulties.
According to an incident report, several warnings had been issued in the past and animals had previously been removed from the home with the help of the Arkansas Humane Society.
A citation was issued to 45-year-old Kathy Starnes who was ordered to not have any animals for a year.
"The dogs appear to be fairly healthy," said Margaret Shepherd, director of the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society. "They have quite a few fleas and some skin issues probably caused by those fleas and the conditions they were living in."
Shepherd said the dogs were in bad living conditions and they had never been outside before.
"A lot of planning had to go into this," Shepherd said. "Obviously our permanent shelter on Highland Drive cannot accommodate any more dogs than what we already have out there. We had to open an emergency shelter in Bono and get pens put up, fencing put up, vaccines brought in, things for flea and tick control. They'll receive everything they would as if they were at a vet clinic or at our shelter."
Once they are deemed healthy, Shepherd said the animals will be spayed and neutered and will be made available for adoption.
Shepherd said all donations to the shelter will be greatly appreciated and can me made online or brought in directly to the shelter.
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