Eight Chihuahuas were given blankets, food, water and love Tuesday after being found in filthy conditions.
"When we got inside it was horrifying," said Theresa Sumpter, Detroit Pit Crew founder.
Sumpter called out to the home on Lichfield on Detroit's west side late Tuesday morning. Police arrived to do a welfare check. The owner was then taken to the hospital.
"I don't know if this person was just too sick to get down the steps to care for the dogs, but it looked like this had been going on for a long time, it was filthy inside the house," she said.
Volunteer Eric McCombs, who is also a Detroit police officer, helped out Sumpter with the rescue.
"The house looked well taken care of," he said. "And then we went in, it was like a scene from a horror movie."
Sumpter says the dogs appear to have been living in cages in a dark basement.
"It was filled with cobwebs, feces, it hadn't been cleaned," Sumpter said. "Dry bowls, no water, no food."
The 79-year-old owner of the dogs had not been heard from in three days.
"Words can't even describe the smell and what we saw, the pure neglect," said McCombs. "It was so heartbreaking."
Sumpter says there had been dog food in the home but none in the dogs' bowls.
There was also a horrifying discovery of "A live dog was in a cage with a deceased dog," she said.
Despite the apparent neglect some of the dogs are social and others need a little extra love.
Sumpter says the dogs appear to be healthy, but they still have some tests to run - but are pretty friendly.
"We'll make sure they will see a vet today, they will all be bathed and then go into foster homes," Sumpter said.
Sumpter said they discovered paperwork and awards suggesting the dogs' owner may have been a breeder.
"We did not get an owner surrender because the person had already been removed from the house," she said.
Meanwhile as police investigate, the dogs are getting lots of love and treats from Detroit Pit Crew and its foster homes - until these dogs find new homes.
"Seeing them come out of their shell, it makes it all worthwhile," McCombs said.
"They are safe now and they will no longer be in those conditions," Sumpter said. "They will be loved and properly taken care of from now on."
To donate or learn more: https://detroitpitcrew.com/