(PAOLI) - The Orange County Sheriff's Department rescued 20 poodles living in filth after a report the dogs had been abandoned at a home on U.S. 150, east of Paoli.
Veterinarian Dr. Bill McDonald says it is the worst case of animal neglect he has seen in his career.
"It was one of the nastiest and dirtiest things I had seen in my life," he added.
McDonald says the poodles had feces matted in their hair and two of the dogs had maggots infested in their skin.
Deanna Kendall, director of the Orange County Humane Society, says officials couldn't tell what color the poodles were because they were covered in feces.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department was called about the incident after a utility crew noticed the dogs and called police.
After obtaining a warrant, deputies removed the dogs from the home under the direction of McDonald, who was on the scene.
McDonald says officials had to wear respirators because of the ammonia levels. When he arrived he found the dogs standing in 2 to 3 inches of feces.
Someone was feeding the dogs but not enough to keep them alive and were dumping the food in the dog's waste.
One of the dogs died the night the animals were found.
After being treated, the rest were taken to the Orange County Humane Society. Two dogs, who were infested with maggots, were taken to McDonald's clinic in Rego for treatment.
"The maggots were burrowed into their skin, eating the dogs alive," McDonald added. "I had to remove most of the maggots by hand. One of the dogs had maggots under its eyelids."
McDonald sedated the dogs and use antiparasetics and antibiotics to treat the infestations.
McDonald says the dogs are scared of people and will need a lot of tender loving care.
The Orange County Humane Society is asking for donations to offset the costs for housing the poodles.
So far the shelter has received around $5,000, with one woman donating $2,095 toward their treatment.
According to a press release from the Orange County Sheriff's office, the investigation is ongoing and information has been forwarded to the prosecutor's office.
The property is owned by Laura King, who has a Louisville address, according to the press release.
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