RISPCA: Two dozen dogs seized from Exeter home

Twenty-four dogs were seized from a home in Exeter, according to authorities. (The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)

Twenty-four dogs have been seized from a home in Exeter, according to authorities.

The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Thursday said they received a complaint that there were several dogs living in unsanitary conditions.

"(There were) just dozens and dozens of piles of feces," RISPCA Director of Operations Joe Warzycha told NBC 10 News.

The RISPCA, along with Rhode Island State Police and Exeter Animal Control, launched an investigation on Dec. 22 and learned that many of the animals were also being left outside in the cold without proper shelter.

Authorities said the dogs were "lacking adequate shelter to protect them from the elements, as the ambient temperature at that time was 28 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill factor of 19 degrees."

"No water, no shelter. All the water bowls we saw were frozen," Warzycha said, adding that while there was no evidence that the dogs were malnourished, investigators told the owner that in addition to providing food, they require access to clean, fresh water. "They need adequate living conditions, which need to be sanitary, which they weren’t.”

One photo shows four dogs housed in wooden shelters with chicken wire over the doors, and another shows a dog chained to a pole next to a doghouse.

The RIPSCA said they took custody of 14 beagles, six Brittany spaniels and four Chihuahuas, while Exeter Animal Control and The Potter League for Animals helped with the removal of the dogs. Some dogs were as young as five weeks old.

"Fifteen of the dogs are currently being housed at the RISPCA and nine are being housed at The Potter League," according to the RISPCA.

Authorities said the owner voluntarily surrendered his dogs and has been cooperative with investigators.

The RISPCA has not released the name of the owner yet, as they're waiting on Rhode Island State Police to obtain an arrest warrant.

As for the dogs, they're up for adoption at the RISPCA and The Potter League, which is located in Middletown.

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