Nearly four dozen dogs were taken from a home in east Jamul in the last week after County Animal Services investigated complaints about an excessive number of dogs on the property.
Animal control officers found 53 dogs at the site, including two litters of puppies.
All of the dogs were healthy and being cared for, but County regulations allow only six adult dogs on a property in the unincorporated area unless the property is zoned for more than that and the owner has a permit for a kennel.
The six-dog limit applied in this case, so when animal control officers met with the owner Jan. 4, she immediately relinquished 10 dogs. They were all border collie blends ranging in age from 5 months to 1 year old.
“This was a case where the owner let the animal situation get away from her,” said County Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson. “She had dogs that weren’t spayed and neutered. Within a short time, they bred and the population ballooned to more than 50 dogs.”
Animal control officers said the owner was very cooperative and grateful for help. She explained the problem started when several of her dogs had puppies and she couldn’t find homes for them.
Animal control officers returned to the home Thursday and took in 12 more dogs, the two litters of puppies and their mothers. One litter of five Chihuahua blend puppies was 2 weeks old. The second litter of five Shih Tzu puppies was 4 weeks old.
Saturday, 25 more dogs were relinquished. They were all adults and included border collies, border collie blends, toy and miniature poodles, a Chihuahua, a Chihuahua blend, a Shih Tzu, Shih Tzu blends, a shepherd blend and a cocker spaniel.
All of the relinquished animals were taken to the County’s animal care facility in Bonita. They were checked by a veterinarian and some were transferred to rescue groups within a matter of hours. Others were made available for adoption and the San Diego Humane Society took in nine dogs.
The owner also had five goats, two horses and a number of pigs on the property and told Animal Services she wanted to reduce her livestock. They put her in touch with a rescue group who can help take most of the pigs and a horse. She decided to keep six dogs, the number allowed for her property.
Danielson said the situation with the dogs is just one example of the importance of spaying and neutering your pets. County Animal Services offers spay/neuter discount coupons year round.
The Animal Services’ website lists 76 veterinarians throughout the county who will perform the surgery at a reduced cost. If the coupon is taken to one of the listed veterinarians, the cost of altering your pet can drop dramatically or even go away entirely.
The coupons are available to residents in the unincorporated areas of the County and Animal Services’ six contract cities of San Diego, Santee, Carlsbad, Solana Beach, Encinitas and Del Mar. Residents can pick up the coupons from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday at any one of the three animal care facilities or by calling Animal Services at (619) 767-2675.
County Animal Services has 10 of the dogs still available for adoption. To see all of the animals looking for new homes, visit their website.