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15 rescued dogs find their furever homes

Last Updated Feb 9, 2019 at 3:36 pm PDT

WINNIPEG (CITYNEWS) – About a month after several dogs were rescued in Winnipeg from devastating conditions, the five adult dogs and 10 puppies are heading to their furever homes.

Fourteen are already settled into their new homes and the last one is very close to being officially adopted.

The group of dogs was taken from the home in early January and the city described the residence as “disgusting and awful.”

“There was feces everywhere. It smelled like there were high levels of ammonia in the building. The police officers and the animal services officers that were in attendance actually had to wear masks when they went in,” explained Leland Gordon, Chief Operating Officer of Winnipeg’s Animal Services Department.

WATCH: 15 dogs “at risk of dying…”: police

“Humans could only live in there for a few minutes so it was so sad to see dogs living in horrific conditions where not only the place was absolutely disgusting but there was no food or water.”

When the rental property was cleaned out after the animals were seized, three puppies were found dead in a container in the garage.

All the animals that were saved needed desperate attention and care after being cooped up in such conditions.

“When they came in they all had varying medical issues. Some had ear infections, some had skin conditions, some had nails that were quite long. They were all dirty,” he said.

“We gave them the VIP treatment, got them groomed and then worked on their socialization.”

And now, weeks later, the pups are getting the homes and families they should’ve had all along.

“Our friends at the Winnipeg Humane Society took the 10 puppies and [the city] took the five adults. All the puppies were adopted quite quickly–puppies are usually easily adopted in the shelters versus the adult dogs.”

PHOTOS: Rescued dogs get a new leash on life

Gordon added four of the five adults were adopted promptly as well, and things are looking promising for the last dog.

“One of the dogs is out on something called a dog date–she’s been out on the dog date for the week and they’re likely going to be adopting her.”

All of the dogs are interacting really well with their new families and have really changed from the skittish and shy animals they were when they were rescued.

If it doesn’t feel right, report it: city

Gordon is now urging anyone who thinks an animal is at risk to report the situation to Manitoba’s animal care line.

“People need to watch out for animals… If something doesn’t seem right go ahead and report it and let our investigators investigate,” said Gordon.

“It would’ve been lovely if someone had reported it a while ago and that it didn’t get it to the scenario that it got to with animals living in such horrid conditions.”

Gordon also said, reporting potential animal cruelty cases isn’t only for the good of the animal. Sometimes it helps humans, too.

“We run into people who are having issues with their animals, but they’re also having problems themselves. Not only do we care about animals but we also care about people,” said Gordon.

“If people anywhere in Manitoba have friends, family, coworkers who may be going through some bad part of their life or may have suspected mental health issues, or if you just feel like somebody is off, a great resource is Manitoba 211.”

The service lists the resources available to you to help both people and their animals in a variety of ways to prevent animal cruelty cases or neglect before they happen.

Considering getting a pet? There’s a lot to think about

“We don’t want another scenario like this ever happening again,” said Gordon, who is hoping this extreme case will prompt people considering adding a furry friend to their families to really think about all the things that come along with a dog or cat.

“Make sure that you don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Pets require proper food, water, and shelter and clean homes, access to the outdoors. They need proper veterinary care every year–that can cost a lot of money… if you’re struggling financially day to day and you’re having problems making it, it’s probably not a good idea to add a pet until you’re ready,” he said.

“Are you prepared to take it to a vet every year? Provide it with high-quality food and good shelter and exercise?”

If not, Gordon offers up the idea of volunteering at a rescue centre or shelter.

You can also foster shelter dogs or do the doggy date program and take dogs waiting to be adopted out on adventures for an afternoon, a weekend, or even a week.

-with files from Mike Albanese