TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Toledo Area Humane Society said it was the worst case of dog hoarding it has seen. It filed 22 counts of cruelty to companion animal charges against Sheila Ortmann.
WTOL 11 reached out to Ortmann, who used to own a dog grooming shop. She said she will not speak to the media.
TAHS seized one cat, one parrot and 23 dogs from a trailer Wednesday. One of the dogs was dead.
"Usually with hoarding, we get a large number of cats. Twenty-two dogs is a lot of dogs. This is a pretty big one," said John Dinon, Executive Director for the Toledo Area Humane Society.
The humane society had been investigating the case for awhile. A neighbor broke the dogs out in the middle of the night. That is when TAHS was able to take the animals in.
"It is shocking," Dinon said. "The conditions were filthy. It smelled really, really bad. The dogs were really happy to be out of the really closed and foul area."
The dogs were covered in fleas, and one dog had to have his eye removed. Some of the dogs were shaved because of severe matting. They have all been cleaned and are now being treated for infections.
Six of the dogs cleared medical and temperament tests and will go up for adoption on Saturday.
"The vast majority of these dogs, if not all of them, will eventually go up for adoption," Dinon said.
Ortmann has been cited before by the Lucas County Dog Warden for having unlicensed dogs and dogs without rabies vaccinations. If she were to get the maximum sentence for all the charges, she could go to jail for five years and pay more than $15,000 in fines.
"I don't think that's likely, but certainly this is a serious case," Dinon said. "We will argue for some strong sanctions."
The humane society is asking for donations to help offset the costs of treating the animals.
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