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More than 40 animals rescued in animal cruelty investigation in SE DC

A Humane Rescue Alliance investigation into suspected animal cruelty in SE DC led to the rescue of 36 dogs and six rabbits today under a search and seizure warrant obtained by HRA Humane Law Enforcement officers.

The case began as an HRA animal control investigation following an anonymous tip regarding the number, types and wellbeing of animals being housed at a property on the 2900 block of Branch Avenue SE. HRA’s Humane Law Enforcement division took over the investigation upon discovering evidence related to alleged animal cruelty.

When HLE officers with HRA arrived on scene to execute the search and seizure warrant on Wednesday, they found 42 animals, including 33 Great Danes, one Doberman, one pit bull-type dog, one chihuahua mix and six rabbits, being housed in extremely unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

In many instances, multiple Great Danes were confined to one small cage, forced to live amongst their own waste and sleep on a concrete floor. Blood and feces covered the walls. The animals did not have access to food or water. The smell of ammonia and feces overwhelmed the rescuers. HLE officers uncovered evidence relating to the sale of animals and at least one of the Great Danes is suspected to be pregnant. They also discovered the remains of several puppies in a mini refrigerator.

“The conditions in which these animals were forced to live in is gut-wrenching,” said Chris Schindler, vice president of field services at the Humane Rescue Alliance. “I am relieved they are now safe and in the hands of people who will provide them with the love and proper care they need and deserve, thanks to the community members who reported the neglect and our team who conducted a thorough investigation.”

The case remains under investigation. The animals are in the care of HRA at an undisclosed location. They will be thoroughly examined by a veterinarian and receive any necessary medical and behavioral treatment.

HRA anticipates caring for the animals for at least several months as the criminal case develops. To support the cost to care for these animals and other animals HRA rescues, donate here.


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