FRUITLAND, Iowa — Forty-two dogs were rescued last week from a mobile home after reports of unsafe conditions, according to a mews release from the Muscatine Police Department.
Police said they received an anonymous tip regarding animal neglect from a couple living with an excessive amount of dogs in a mobile home located at on Main Street in Fruitland, Iowa.
Muscatine Animal Control Officer Courtney Patel investigated and confirmed the overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. According to the report, there was an "excessive amount of animal waste" in the home and a lack of access to food and medical care.
Police obtained a search warrant and were assisted by Muscatine Animal Control and Humane Society to rescue all 42 dogs.
"They had no names. They had no real ages," Muscatine Humane Society director Chris McGinnis said.
The dogs will stay at the Muscatine Humane Society as the animal neglect investigation continues.
"It's a huge undertaking," McGinnis said. "It's going to be a lot to take on."
The dogs range from 2-week-old puppies to 15-year-olds.
"They haven't seen people. They haven't seen grass. They haven't been outside," McGinnis said. "They haven't been picked up and handled."
McGinnis said the dogs are suffering from skin, vision, hearing and weight loss.
"It makes me sad that a dog lived like this in this kind of condition for 15 years," McGinnis said.
This is the third type of animal neglect case Muscatine County has reported since 2021.
"We knew we'd have our hands full," Muscatine Police Department Captain Anthony Kies said. "We didn't know how many dogs were in the property. We were estimating 20 or 25."
In the midst of the recent cases, the City of Muscatine has proposed stricter penalties for irresponsible pet owners.
"I think it's big for helping the community stay safe and then some ownership on the owners of the pets," Kies said.
"I'm thankful to whoever called this in," McGinnis said. "These dogs will have a chance now."
Officials encourage the public to report if they notice something wrong.
The humane society said it will gather a list of people interested in potential adoptions of the pets depending on the outcome of court proceedings.
The Muscatine Humane Society is located at 920 South Houser St. in Muscatine. For more information on adoption, call 563-263-7358.