More than three dozen dogs were seized from a home in Fremont County, and that homeowner is now facing charges of animal cruelty.
The sheriff's office and Colorado Humane Society and SPCA seized 37 dogs Tuesday from the home of 58-year-old Demaris "Dee" Chess, of Penrose. Chess is now facing 37 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty.
"We initially got a call from a concerned citizen that there were loose dogs in the roadway and they appeared emaciated," Captain Jeff Worley with the Fremont County Sheriff's Office said. "The officer that responded did find emaciated dogs in the road and followed the dogs back to where they had come from which led them to the Chess home."
Officials report most of the dogs were emaciated and dehydrated.
"The conditions weren’t good for the animals, the residence wasn’t suited for that many dogs," Worley said. "The residence was fairly dirty, too. The animals didn’t have enough water or food."
Several of the dogs were also suffering from fleas, ticks, parasites, and sores.
The seized dogs are mostly Australian cattle dog mixes, and some are as young as five weeks old. Veterinarians treated some of the dogs at the scene. They were then taken to two different animal shelters.
Chess didn't tell officers why she had so many dogs or why they were in such poor shape.
"A lot of the dogs were breeding, but there are no claims that she was a breeder," Worley said.
Worley said neglect cases aren't unusual, but the high number of dogs was surprising.
Chess was able to keep three of her dogs.
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