They're a little skittish, but they're friendly and playful and healthy. And, thanks to the efforts of groomers who otherwise compete for business, 11 dogs taken from a home in Ceres are fluffed and clean and ready for new homes.
Stanislaus County Animal Services received the dogs last week, said Kwane Stewart, county veterinarian.
They were called to the home as the landlord and a locksmith were trying to gain entry. Just as the locksmith started to drill, the woman who lived in the duplex opened the door. It was clear pretty quickly that there were animals in the home and that it was a problem.
"The ammonia levels were far above breathable," Stewart said. The woman had11 dogs, all terrier mixes, in a home that was only about 300 square feet. "It was pretty clear they were living indoors, and they were not allowed out."
Feces and urine were evident throughout the living area, and the dogs' coats were matted and filthy. After some discussion, the woman her name was not released agreed to give up the dogs in their best interest.
"I did a quick medical check," Stewart said, and she found that the dogs, a mix of young adults and puppies, are in good health. "And remarkably, they're all friendly and well-mannered."
A call for help
Animal Services staff called in Terese Davis, a retired dog groomer who recently retired as a volunteer groomer at the shelter. Davis knew she couldn't handle all 11 dogs on her own, so she got on the phone.
She started with her sister, Farris Simmons, a retired dog groomer from Escalon. Then she talked to the owners of Two Paws Up and Dee's Grooming in Modesto as well as another groomer in Escalon. Nobody turned her down.
"They all agreed because we are all dog people and everyone wanted to help," Davis wrote in a news release. "It even sounded like it would be fun."
The team went to the shelter Monday morning. With some help from volunteer Mary Paes, who manned the bathtub, they fluffed and trimmed and prepped the dogs.
Now they just need to find new homes for the animals. Adoption fees for dogs at the shelter are $102 that includes an identification microchip, license, and spaying or neutering, said Animal Services director Annette Patton.
Davis said she is hopeful that her record stands: "Every dog I've ever groomed has been adopted."
Breaking News Editor Patty Guerra can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2343. Follow her on Twitter @pattyguerra.
The animal shelter is at 3647 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. It's open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Call (209) 558-7387 or go online at www.co.stanislaus.ca.us/animalservices.