Nearly 100 cats and dogs were rescued from a hoarding station on Wednesday in northwest Indiana, authorities said.
Firefighters responding to a blaze discovered the animals -- 43 dogs, mainly Chihuahuas -- and 48 cats, WLS-TV reported.
Officials with Border Tails Rescue in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook transported the dogs to its facility, while the cats were safely transported to other shelters, WMAQ-TV reported.
Suburban Animal Rescue Takes in Dozens of Chihuahuas Saved From Hoarding Situation https://t.co/ehTcxzNdXe— NBC Chicago (@nbcchicago) March 23, 2023
Harleigh Garcia, the founder and executive director of Border Tails Rescue, said she was moved to step in and help after seeing photos of the squalid conditions the animals were subjected to, according to the television station.
“The first thing is I saw the pictures from the hoarding situation, and for me, it was the tearjerker moment,” Garcia told WMAQ. “There’s pictures of puppies and cats, and they’re all snuggled together, with … tiny newborn puppies and kittens.”
The dogs will be available for adoption and fostering next week, WLS reported.
“Even though they are more social than we expected, they are very nervous, so finding the right homes that can handle that, and we’re hoping the majority of them can go to homes that have other dogs hopefully because that definitely makes them feel more comfortable,” Garcia told the television station.
Members with Border Tails Rescue spent Thursday microchipping the dogs, testing them for heartworm and providing them with affection and comfort before meeting with veterinarians.
“There’s a lot of Chihuahua lovers out there,” Garcia told WMAQ. “I’m happy they are not in that situation anymore.”
Border Tails Rescue is hoping to raise $500 per dog to care for them, according to its Facebook page.
“We are seeking your support financially to care for each individual dog’s needs,” the post read. “We would like to raise $500 per dog, totaling $21,500 total, but we know we can do it with the support from our community.”
Garcia said her goal now is to help the dogs find permanent homes.
“I’m really excited for what their future holds, and whatever family adopts them is going to be really lucky,” she told WMAQ.
The shelter said that it will begin accepting adoption applications next week. More information can be found on the facility’s website.