Animal Services is checking backgrounds of 54 dogs found in East El Paso home

POSTED: 06:30 PM MDT Jul 26, 2013 
EL PASO, Texas -

The City of El Paso's Animal Services is starting to place the 54 dogs found in an East El Paso home into temporary homes until the backgrounds on the dogs can be cleared.

Animal Services officials say they are doing that to make sure the dogs don't have any previous owners before adopting out.

One cat also was found in the East Side home.

According to the Central Appraisal District, the home is owned by Robert and Arlene Brown. One neighbor, who called animal services last week, told ABC-7 that Arlene Brown, who appeared to be the only one living in the home currently, spoke to her often about the situation, which seemed to get worse and worse over time.

"At first it was not bad at all and all of the sudden she started bringing the dogs in and bringing the dogs in," said neighbor Gudrun Richey, who lives right behind the home. "And I'm thinking, 'Oh my goodness!' So I talked to her. She said she was going to Animal Control and picking up all these dogs because they're going to be euthanized."

Richey said it appeared she felt sorry for the dogs.

"But yet they put them out when it was over 100 degrees," Richey said. "I contacted Animal Services and that was a week ago this Saturday. I had to call at least three times before somebody came and I said, 'This is ridiculous.' Finally, a young man showed up. I can't even describe the smell. It was almost like sickening."

Richey said until recently, Brown's husband and three daughters lived in the home.

"That's when she told me, they said at the school the two young girls come to school smelling, well, I'm going to use the phrase she used, 'Like cat piss,'" Richey said.

Another neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, told ABC-7 she thought there was around 10 dogs in the home, but didn't have any idea there were so many.

"I couldn't figure that many dogs in that small home," she said. "It's ridiculous."

She said after the dogs were removed, Arlene Brown collapsed in front of her home and had to be taken to the hospital.

"She just fainted," she said. "Just went down on the ground."

Animal Services officials said Brown "got overwhelmed with so many animals."

Animal Services said charges are pending against the owner of the home and they are now working to get the animals adopted."It's very difficult, because we're at the high time of the year," Animal Services veterinarian Dr. Bernie Page said. "Our impoundments are up so space is a problem."

Richey said the children are living with their father, who moved out of the home and she believes is Military.

Animal Services did say they responded to the home in mid-July and issued several citations to the homeowner. They said it was a follow-up Tuesday that resulted in the animals being taken away due to conditions inside the home. Pending charges could include Class C misdemeanors like no registration, vaccination or micro-chipping.