By Peter D'Oench

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE(CBS4)—Sixteen newborn puppies and dogs who were found alone and starving have been rescued after calls from neighbors lead investigators to a Northwest Miami-Dade home.

The rescue may have saved the lives of the 13 dogs and 3 puppies.

Luis Salgado, the Chief of Shelter Services for Miami-Dade Animal Services, said the owner of the dogs had lived alone with the dogs in the home on the corner of N.W. 35th Ave. and N.W. 35th St. He said she had recently been taken to Hialeah Hospital and had been transferred to an Assisted Living Facility.

“When investigators went out to the scene they observed numerous dogs on the property and dogs inside the house,” Salgado told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench.

Neighbors had left food for the dogs and two cats at her home but it was not enough for them.

Investigators took the 16 puppies and dogs to the Animal Services Shelter in Medley.

“There is a mother with newborn puppies,” said Salgado. “You look at them and you don’t even think their eyes are open yet. I estimate they are two to three weeks old. The dogs are in fair condition. Little by little they will be evaluated by the vets and get the vaccines they need.”

Salgago said investigators went to the home three days ago after neighbors reported the dogs were there.

Neighbor Andres Arango said, “These dogs were causing a lot of problems for the community. It was a very big problem for my brother and his family. It was every day for the past two years at least.”

Neighbor Julian Dyucet Varona said, “We need to be careful and take care of our dogs and animals.”

Salgado said, “The elderly owner of the dogs was hospitalized on January 16th and she made arrangements for the neighbors to feed the dogs and cats.”

They left food in cans and on plastic containers but it was not enough.

“The neighbors were concerned that they hadn’t heard from her,” said Salgado. “She didn’t contact neighbors to say that she had been transferred from the hospital to an assisted living facility. At that point she was going to provide someone to give money for the dogs. She never did.”

Fortunately, Animal Services received a call that the dogs had been abandoned.

Salgado said at this point it does not appear that the owner of the puppies and dogs will face any fines or citations.

Salgado is reaching out to her at the assisted living facility that she is in to see if she will surrender the dogs.

If she does, they will be put up for adoption and rescue.

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