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SPCA saddled with over 60 dogs in animal abuse case

CINCINNATI (Rich Jaffe) -- More than 60 dogs and puppies, all rescued from the same West Price Hill home are being prepared for adoption.

But it's no small feat, and there's nothing cheap about it.  Those dozens of dogs are now the legal property of SPCA Cincinnati after the agency rescued them 90 days ago.  Their previous owner goes before a judge Thursday on animal cruelty charges.

Local 12's Rich Jaffe saw the animals at the shelter and said it was heartbreaking to think about where the little guys have been.  New tenants have recently moved into the tiny house on Gilsey but the empty cages and crates can still be seen in the backyard.  They were full in February when animal control officers and police began removing more than sixty small dogs and a dozen rabbits from the property.

Since that time they've been in the custody of SPCA Cincinnati.

Harold Dates of the SPCA Cincinnati said, "It's a huge deal. We have to move things around.  We have to make sure all the animals we seize in a situation like this are very comfortable.  We also have to make sure we have them in a condition that's acceptable with respect to the highest standards."

The owner of the dogs was Harold Ray Alexander.  He also goes by the name Latoisha Alexander and is facing 6 counts of animal cruelty due to the horrific conditions in which the dogs were found.  They have now been cleaned up, and medically cared for as SPCA prepares to put them up for adoption.

Dates said, "They went from a matted unrecognizable mess to a shih-tzu or a chihuahua or whatever breed it was that was not discernible prior to us working on them."

All the dogs will be either spayed or neutered and vaccinated before adopted.  Some have more serious issues and are receiving attention from this local veterinary hospital.  Many of the little guys are starved for affection, but others are clearly afraid of people.  Some have had puppies since arriving at the SPCA.

Dates explained, "We want people to understand these situations do exist and when we're involved in moving these animals its a costly venture but a very necessary part of our work."

So costly in fact that SPCA officials told a judge it costs them 20 dollars a day per dog for the first month and 30 dollars a day per dog since then.  That's more than 90 days of caring for Alexander's dogs!

And the numbers keep growing.

While Latoisha Alexander should be forced to pay for the dogs care, the reality is no-one believes they'd have much chance to collect regardless of what the judge decides.  So the best recourse, to most involved, is criminal prosecution.  Harold Dates points out that regardless of how expensive the care is, people need to call when they see things like this going on around them.

There's no solid plan yet on exactly how SPCA Cincinnati will put the dogs up for adoption but there will probably be a group viewing at some point at their Conrey Road facility.  Local 12 will let you know about the event as soon as we have details.

Follow Rich Jaffe on Twitter @rajaffe and LIKE him on Facebook




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