28 flea-ridden dogs found in Detroit home where 911 couldn't reach dying woman
(WJBK) - Neighbors described Wednesday the home of a woman who died after first responders were unable to reach her because there were dozens of dogs blocking their way.
It happened around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday on Hamburg on Detroit's east side.
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"She was hysterical. She kept saying call 911," said neighbor Henry Murphy.
He woke to a loud pounding that morning and opened his door to find his elderly neighbor on his porch.
"She said could you call 911? My daughter was in the bathtub and fell and blood is everywhere," Murphy said.
Talking with the 911 dispatcher, Murphy says they quickly arrived to his neighbors home but opened the door to nearly 30 dogs.
"They left. They came back because they couldn't get in," he said.
Detroit police say the 47-year-old woman suffered from previous medical issues and later died in the hospital from that fall.
Meanwhile, police say they discovered a hoarding situation and horrible living conditions at the home.
"The dogs don't run around. The dogs stay in the house. ... You don't see them all you do is hear them," said neighbor Orlando Jameson.
Police say the dogs aren't necessarily vicious but haven't been outside or around other people.
They quickly called Detroit Animal Care and Control, and then they called Detroit Dog Rescue for help.
"We were more than happy to help so we got our team together and headed down," said Kristina Rinaldi, Detroit Dog Rescue executive director.
Rinaldi says DDR is taking in 20 of the 28 dogs that appear to be younger terrier mixes and doxens.
"Weight wise they're doing well but unfortunately the puppies, they do have what we call flea anemia, where the parasites are actually sucking the blood out of them," she said. "All of them are infested with fleas."
Rinaldi says two large tortoises were also found in the home and are now with a wildlife rescue.
As for the dogs, their care is estimated to cost about $25,000 as they need extensive behavior modification but Rinaldi says they should be available for adoption within the next month.
"These guys have just been through a lot," she said. "But overall, so many sweet dogs here that just need some love."