Six abandoned dogs have been surrendered to a not-for-profit organization, No Dog Left Behind, after they were left in a rental property for nearly two weeks after their owners were evicted.
“Fortunately they didn’t look like they were starving. They weren’t skin and bones but seeing them with their tails between their legs coming out, it was just very sad.
“It’s very upsetting to know these animals were left here just uncared.”
The couple has spent several months trying to evict the tenants who owe about $40,000 in rent. They were recently granted an eviction order earlier this month and were glad to see the tenants had vacated the property. The only problem was they left their pets and belongings behind.
The couple say they turned to animal services, the SPCA and rescues for help to get the dogs out of the home, but were met with red tape.
“It’s very upsetting and frustrating to leave these poor dogs abandoned inside a house for two weeks. Neighbours have claimed that they’ve only seen them (tenants) once a day feeding the dogs,” explained Ortiz.
In an email to Global News, the City of Hamilton explained that Hamilton Animal Services (HAS) Animal Control Officers “do not have authority to remove a persons property – which includes pets – without the owner’s consent.”
With help from a concerned resident, Saturday the dogs were picked up by No Dog Left Behind.
“The conditions are deplorable, no animal should have to live in that,” added Carol Andrews, who helped spearhead the rescue.
The landlords are now assessing the damage left to their Highland Avenue home and it’s mounting, as the home is riddled with feces and insects. The couple wore protective equipment inside to protect themselves.
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“I don’t know how anybody could ever live in a place like that living with the smell and the cockroaches,” says Bryan Ortiz.
The couple says the inside and outside of the home is in need of at least $100,000 in repairs.
While they have their work cut out for them, they’re relieved to know the animals are at least now being cared for and at a kennel in Cayuga.