- Associated Press - Thursday, March 3, 2016

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - Volunteers with the Aberdeen Area Humane Society are caring for 20 Shih Tzu-mix dogs rescued from what officials describe as horrendous conditions.

Shelter officials and sheriff’s deputies responding to a tip last week found the dogs in an unoccupied rural house, suffering from years of neglect.

The dogs had food but were otherwise uncared for, shelter manager Stacey Franks told the American News (http://bit.ly/1RJVvUw ).

“None of them are spayed or neutered. You couldn’t see their eyes or their ears, and their hair was so long and matted, they looked three or four times their (normal) size,” she said.

Some of the dogs had to be dug out of piles of feces, and one had a wire around its neck, embedded in its fur. Some of the dogs have heart and lung problems. Franks estimates medical expenses at about $6,000.

The dogs also will have to adjust to a new way of living before they can be put up for adoption, she said.

“These guys are going to take a lot longer than I initially thought,” Franks said. “What’s really sad is that’s the life that they knew of, and to put them in a shelter environment is tough on them. Sometimes they just need a really quiet place to go.”

Brown County Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Chris White said his office will be reviewing the case and could decide to file animal abuse charges against the dogs’ owner.

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Information from: Aberdeen American News, http://www.aberdeennews.com

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