82 Dogs Removed from Indiana Home

Officers called it one of the worst cases of animal hoarding

By Al Romero
|  Friday, Jan 13, 2012  |  Updated 5:24 PM CDT
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Donations Roll in for Rescued Dogs

Times of Northwest Indiana

Fifty-five dogs were removed Wednesday from a home in Northwest Indiana. The next day they took 27 more.

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Donations Roll in for Rescued Dogs

Good Samaritans stopped by the Porter County Animal Hospital to drop off used bed sheets and towels to help care for the 82 dogs removed from a nearby home.
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A day after officials seized 55 dogs from a home in Northwest Indiana, they went back Thursday and took about two dozen more.

Animal control officers re-visited the home just outside of Chesterton and removed an additional 27 dogs, bringing the two-day total to 82. The officers told local reporters it was the worst case of animal hoarding they'd seen.

It's not clear why the additional dogs were not removed during officials' visit to the home on Wednesday.

The dogs were taken to the Porter County Animal Shelter, but several of them have been isolated because they tested positive for canine parvovirus. Some have already been put down.

Donna Montoya, 50, who lives in the home where the dogs were seized, could face a number of counts of cruelty to animals. The property owner could also faces charges.

John Thomas, the director of the shelter, remained confident that several of the dogs can be saved.

"[Montoya] loves the dogs, and I think she believes and she should believe, that I'm going to take the best care I can of them and try and socialize and rehabilitate as many as I can," said Thomas.

Throughout the day Friday, area residents were seen visiting the shelter with donations of sheets and blankets.

Animal control officers first went to the home in November after neighbors told the local health department they were worried that animal waste was getting into their drinking water. On a subsequent visit, Montoya surrendered seven puppies that were infested with fleas, officials said.

Porter County officials reportedly waited until Wednesday to move in and remove all the dogs, because they wanted to be sure they had a place to take the animals.

Two officials were bitten by the dogs and required medical attention, officials said.

Montoya reportedly told authorities she thought she was doing the right thing by keeping the dogs and not giving them up.

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