County Animal Services officers seized 44 dogs on Aug. 18 from an Atascadero home and arrested the homeowner on suspicion of felony animal cruelty.
County Animal Services and Atascadero PD jointly served a search warrant to the home and found that the animals were living in the unsanitary conditions, lacked appropriate shelter, and several of the animals had untreated medical conditions. All of the dogs were seized from the property on August 18 and transported to the County Animal Services shelter in San Luis Obispo where they will remain pending further evaluation and assessment. About half of them were found to have physical or medical conditions in need of treatment. Specifically, several of the dogs were observed to have untreated bite wounds. Other dogs had eye injuries, chronic skin infections, dental disease and broken teeth, and neurologic problems.
County Animal Services was assisted at the property by the Atascadero PD and members of the Bakersfield Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after the County received credible information that the owner of the property, Suzanne Sollenne, was keeping a large number of dogs in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions. A number of dogs also reportedly needed medical care and treatment. She has been booked into County Jail.
Officers found six dogs in outdoor yards and another 38 dogs living in unsanitary conditions inside the home. Many of the dogs inside the home were confined in wire crates, most without food or water. Additionally, the decomposing remains of at least two large dogs were found in a yard adjacent to the home.
The animals seized from the property include a large variety of breeds; however, most were medium to large size dogs. One member of Animal Services’ response team was bitten and officers were required to tranquilize five large dogs in order capture, examine, and transport them. While many of the dogs appeared unsocialized, a more thorough appraisal of their temperament will be conducted once they have had an opportunity to acclimate to the shelter environment.
Below are pictures of some of the rescued dogs.