A northern California animal rescue says they've rescued dozens of dogs in Wasco that they say have been mistreated.
Jill Marsh, from Bella Vita Dog Rescue , says she was tipped off about a man who lived with about 70 dogs in his trailers on a dirt lot near Highway 46. Since July, Marsh has partnered with other animal activists to convince the owner to allow her to take several dogs at a time. So far she has rescued 40 dogs and 17 puppies.
“Extreme neglect. They were full of fleas and ticks. Their uteruses were falling apart because they have just had babies over and over. None of them have ever had shots,” said Marsh.
She says that as she's taken dogs to veterinarians, she's learned of more serious injuries like gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma.
The owner of the dogs, named Vern, admitted several of the dogs were injured under his care.
“I have run over a couple of them and there’s other people that are driving through here that ran over some. Some of them survived. Some did not,” he said. “Well more than one have been shot around here. Several of my dogs have been shot.”
Vern admitted that he's buried dogs on his property that didn't survive their injuries.
“Probably about 10 maybe, counting the ones that were shot if I could find them,” he said.
Marsh says after the dogs leave here many require treatment like surgery and amputations.
She says 30 of the dogs she has rescued in Wasco have been adopted.
“There's nothing better. It just fuels me on to continue to fight these battles for these dogs,” said Marsh.
She says with about 10-12 dogs left on the property, she plans on returning until she takes them all.
Now, Marsh is calling on Kern County Animal services to hold the owner of the dogs accountable.
"Nobody should get away with this type of neglect or abuse. Nobody at all," she said. “They need to press charges.”
We reached out to Kern County Animal Services to find out if they are investigating the animals' living conditions. 23ABC has not received a response.
For more on dogs rescued by Bella Vita, visit their website.