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More Than 60 Animals Seized From Pet Stores Up For Adoption Saturday

From being neglected to waiting four months in order to be placed for adoption, 60 animals are now available starting Saturday.

Betty, an American Pit Bull Terrier mix, available for adoption from the San Diego Humane Society.

Above: Betty, an American Pit Bull Terrier mix, available for adoption from the San Diego Humane Society.

The San Diego Humane Society and SPCA are holding a special adopting event at the Gaines Campus on 5500 Gaines St., with animals that were seized from a pet store and home raid in March.

More than 117 dogs and puppies, cats, birds and reptiles were treated medically for signs of neglect. The remaining animals are still being treated before they can be placed for adoption.

President and CEO Gary Weitzman said with any animals seized from a cruelty case, it’s a two-step process to get them recovered. First, they must go through a medical program, treating any diseases or injuries. Then they are evaluated behaviorally by staff to make sure they are safe for the public.

Weitzman said when he first saw the large number of animals come into the shelter, he was reminded of “Noah’s Ark.”

Different breeds are available from mixes to purebreds and small to large dogs. He said since many of the dogs were housed in close proximity to each other in very unhealthy conditions so the staff needed to treat them for all types of general puppy diseases like Giardia and worms.

“The transformation is just fantastic because they come in looking like victims and they leave here as beloved members, soon to be members, of people’s families and it makes it all worth while,” Weitzman said.

On March 27, search warrants were served at three pet stores and one private residence due to a lengthy investigation related to the health and safety of the animals. All 117 animals were signed over to the care of the San Diego Humane Society on June 29. A trial is scheduled in August and the individual is being charged with four felony counts of animal abuse, 10 misdemeanor counts of animal abuse and more than a dozen violations of the California Health and Safety Code.

“The beautiful part is getting through four months here while we waited for the court case. The gold pot at the end of the rainbow for us which is really getting them home tomorrow,” Weitzman said.

Throughout the adoption event on Saturday, adoption counselors will be on hand to help prospective parents choose the right pet.

In anticipation of the large event, those who are interested in adoption can visit the San Diego Humane Society website and complete a Pre-Adoption Questionnaire.

“You don’t just adopt that animal, you adopt all of us as well,” Weitzman said. “For the life of that pet and beyond, we’re here for people that adopt helping through education, through training, through medical care if they have questions.”

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