136 small dogs removed from palatial home in Orange County

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Animal Control officers removed 136 small dogs from a palatial home in the upscale community located on East Woodbine Avenue in Orange County, California Thursday evening. The dogs had been living in filthy conditions. Rescuers donned hazmat suits to enter the home and remove the dogs.

According to Orange County Animal Care, authorities were contacted after an anonymous tip for possible animal cruelty had been received. The residents allowed officers to enter their home in order to do a welfare check of the animals. Abc7News  reported officers from the Orange Police Department could smell the horrible conditions the dogs had been living in as soon as the owners opened the front door.

Some of the dogs identified as Shih Tzus and Maltese poodles, were in poor health; others had only minor issues. They ranged in age from puppies to senior dogs, said Sgt. Phil McMullin of the Orange Police Department.

“There was very little furniture inside of that residence, and there was dog excrement, urine all over, inside, on the floor,” the officer described. “It was a mess. It was uninhabitable. We suspect that they are in every single room inside the house.”


The owners have been cited with misdemeanor animal cruelty citations, however the case is still under investigation. The home must be cleaned up before the residents will be allowed to return.

The homeowners, who have been living in the home with the dogs, were identified by neighbors as Jo and Ed Reitkopp. He’s a lawyer, and she’s an organizer for President Donald Trump, one neighbor told the news media from AbcNews.

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