A group of dogs found in deplorable conditions in New York are off to better lives, thanks to animals rescuers.
The rescue effort began when Bronx police officers saved nearly a dozen malnourished dogs found locked in a minivan and at a home, after their owner, a longtime animal rescuer, died of a heart attack, the New York Daily News reports.
“She wanted to help them but had no place of quality to put them,” says Dori Scofield of New York’s Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue, which took four of the pups previously cared for by Emelinda Narvaez. “Unfortunately, she didn’t have the means to care for them.”
The canines were found in awful conditions in the minivan and in a home three miles away, where Narvaez, 70, had died earlier in the day of an apparent heart attack, the report said.
The worst case among the dogs Scofield rescued is Sammy, a matted poodle, who is petrified, growly and weighs only a mere 8 lbs. when she should be over 20 lbs.
Police went to East 174th street last Wednesday afternoon after getting a call about a dog locked in a vehicle. When they arrived, they saw a sickly pooch standing amid garbage and feces in a 2005 Chrysler minivan, the Daily News said.
Based on the condition of the filthy car, Scofield told PEOPLE, “I would venture to say that she’s used that vehicle as a shelter for a long, long time.”
Police had to smash the window to get nine dogs, who were all in need of food and medical care, out. The Daily News says that police found a pit bull at Narvaez’s nearby home and at least one dog dead inside a crate.
Scofield says the dogs she rescued — two of which already have foster homes – are doing well, despite the horror of their recent situation. “In just a few days [we see] a huge difference, they’re coming out of their shell,” she said.
To help Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue care for the pups, donate via their website.