Cleveland Police Rescue 15 Dogs In Hoarding Case
CLEVELAND, Oklahoma - Fifteen dogs are safe right now after Cleveland police find them alone in a family's home.
Cleveland city ordinance allows two dogs per household.
Police said the 15 dogs that are at the pound were living in a house alone.
Some are pit mixes, others are chihuahua mixes. A handful are just puppies.
Cleveland police said all 15 were living in a house by themselves.
"You can imagine what it smelled and looked like," said Cleveland Police Chief Clinton Stout.
Cleveland police said Debbie Smith and her two daughters, Shauna and Angela Smith, are renting the home, but staying in a motel.
Officers aren't sure how long the dogs may have been alone.
"And, they were coming back and forth to check on them," he said.
All three are facing hundreds of dollars in fines for not having dog tags, allowing the dogs to run loose and neglecting them.
"I would classify them as animal hoarders," Stout said.
Stout said this isn't the first time animal control and the police department have dealt with this family.
It's been a problem for years.
"We've been in front of the municipal judge before where he's ordered them to only be able to have one dog. And they just keep continuing to violate the health and sanitation codes and the animal codes," Stout said.
Stout said because it's been such a recurring problem, he plans to talk with the municipal judge about banning the family from owning any animals in the city of Cleveland while they're on any deferred sentences or probation.
"Every time they leave town, I think they bring one back with them," Stout said.
The dogs aren't quite ready for adoption, but you can foster them through Cleveland Area Pound Pals.