Eleven malnourished Rottweilers are recovering after the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office seized them last week from the Second Chance Rottweiler Rescue in Davis.
Capt. Larry Cecchettini said officers visited the facility on County Road 96 after receiving a tip from a volunteer. Inside, they found three dead dogs and 11 that were still alive but malnourished. All the dogs were taken as evidence in what Cecchettini described as an ongoing criminal investigation.
According to county officials, the facility was in disarray and there was fecal matter everywhere.
After seeing the condition of the facility and animals, authorities took the surviving dogs, whose ribs were protruding, to be assessed by the veterinarian at the Yolo County Animal Services Shelter, Cecchettini said.
The Sheriff’s Office is still investigating based on the state of the facility and its animals, officials said.
When the dogs were confiscated on July 30, they were thin and dehydrated, Cecchettini said. “We subsequently took those dogs as evidence and placed them with another Rottweiler rescue.”
The Rottweiler rescue now housing the dogs is Rotts of Friends Animal Rescue, also based in Davis at the 29 Palms Pet Resort.
Renee Lancaster, the owner of 29 Palms Pet Resort and director of Rotts of Friends Animal Rescue, said her organization offered housing and care since the county shelter is full.
“One of them remains in pretty critical condition, but they are doing better,” Lancaster said of the confiscated dogs. The Rottweilers were 25 to 30 pounds underweight when they arrived, and have since gained 6 to 10 pounds as of Wednesday, she said.
Lancaster said she was disturbed by the condition of the Rottweilers’ previous home.
“It was filthy, it was hot and smelly and flies everywhere, fecal matter everywhere,” Lancaster said. “There were distinct areas that we could see that dead animals had been removed.”
Elaine Greenberg, president of Second Chance Rottweiler Rescue, said the incident was blown out of proportion.
In a phone interview, Greenberg said she was taken against her will the same day the dogs were confiscated and kept away from her house for two days on a 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold. As a result, there was nobody there to feed her dogs. Greenberg said she did not know where she was taken.
“They told me they would keep my dogs for two days and then return them,” Greenberg said. “After they let me out, all my dogs had been taken away.”
Sgt. Mike Nevis, who supervises Yolo County Animal Services, said Greenberg was taken in for medical evaluation, but he could not comment on why or where she was taken.
“They are on the slim side because I don’t believe in keeping them heavy,” Greenberg said of the dogs. “A lot of them have orthopedic problems, including the guard dog.”
They were not emaciated and not underweight, Greenberg said. “I’m trying to get my dogs back.”