WATKINS, Colo. (CBS4)– Nearly 120 dogs rescued from a home in Watkins are being evaluated and cared for after being found in crowded and unsanitary conditions. The dogs’ owner may face charges of animal neglect.
“The ones I shaved this morning are 30 to 50 pounds all covered in urine and feces,” said one Dumb Friends League veterinarian assistant.
The Dumb Friends League in Denver is caring for 62 dogs, about half. The rest are being cared for at the Adams County Animal Shelter. The dogs are all thought to be pure bred Havanese and range in age.
Each dog has about a pound of dirt matted into their fur. But they don’t appear to be malnourished.
Investigators with the Dumb Friends League teamed up with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Adams County Animal Control and the Adams County Animal Shelter on Tuesday to remove the dozens of dogs from Richard Pilicer’s home in Watkins.
Pilicer is cooperating with authorities and cooperated with the removal of the animals.
He told CBS4’s Suzanne McCarroll, “I love my dogs more than life.”
Pilicer also said “I am so ashamed. It was from love not cruelty that I have all these puppies.”
Neighbors said they had no idea how many barking dogs there were in the house. Some said he loved his animals and kept them in a four-car garage with heated floors.
“He said he had too many dogs he wanted to get homes. He was attached to the dogs and couldn’t find good homes for them,” said one neighbor.
There is no time table on when those dogs will be adopted because of the intensive treatment and testing that’s required to clean up the dogs.
“It was like an alcoholic; one puppy wasn’t enough for me and I couldn’t bring myself to give them away,” said Pilicer.
Pilicer said he knows he needs help. He could face multiple charges of animal neglect. Animal control officers said they don’t see any signs of intentional cruelty.