Eleven dogs were rescued from a homeless encampment in Turlock on Monday after they were found emaciated and living in their own excrement, according to the Turlock Police Department.
The 11 dogs were being kept by Amber Gehl in a minivan parked at a homeless encampment off Glenwood Avenue, said Turlock Police spokesperson Sgt. Michael Parmley.
The Turlock Animal Shelter has taken custody of all the dogs and is in the process of getting them care and treatment.
Animal control officers were told of the dogs by employees at the nearby Travelodge, who had noticed them at the encampment.
As the animal control officers approached, they saw Gehl trying to hide the dogs, Parmley said.
The dogs were primarily living in the minivan, which was full of various items, debris and dog feces, Parmley said.
At the time of the rescue some of the dogs were in cages outside, including four dogs in a cage on top of the minivan’s roof.
Of the 11 dogs, four were microchipped. One belonged to Gehl and one belonged to her husband. The shelter is working to determine the ownership of the other two microchipped dogs.
A court hearing will be held to determine if Gehl is able to get any of the dogs back. City municipal code would only allow her to have three dogs. However, she might not get any of the dogs back and could face a charge of animal cruelty, Parmley said.
At least some or possibly all of the dogs will be put up for adoption or sent to a rescue group.