Four severely emaciated dogs were spotted in a backyard in Pico Rivera, California.
Janette Gonzalez shared a photo of the dogs on social media on Oct. 6, ABC 7 reported. The photo, which shows a female dog and her three young pups, was originally taken by a friend of Gonzalez, who spotted them in the backyard of a home on Coffman Pico Road.
“I think emaciated is like an understatement,” Gonzalez told ABC 7. “It was just literally skin and bones. The mom and puppies look no more than 5 months old.”
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Gonzalez’s post quickly went viral with dozens of people expressing their outrage and offering to help.
“I had already contacted the shelter, made sure they were getting taken out of the premises,” Gonzalez said. “But I think it just needed more than that because sometimes even shelters don't do the best of work; they do what they can.”
Neighbors were shocked when they learned about the emaciated dogs.
“It's horrifying,” neighbor Skyler Sotero said. “I mean there's a lot of animal lovers in this city, and just to see that happen somewhere where I grew up, like literally down the street, makes you feel horrible.”
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“There are good people in Pico, we love our animals, and I just can't fathom this going on,” said Laura Puente, another neighbor.
According to the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority (SEAACA) in Downey, the mother and her three puppies were removed from the home on Oct. 6. Five other dogs were also removed, and an animal cruelty investigation has been launched.
Sheriff's deputies also arrived at the residence on Oct. 7, though it is unclear what came of their visit.
The dogs are currently in the custody of the SEAACA, an organization dedicated to quality animal care and control.