Confined to wire crates – most without food or water – that’s how Atascadero Police and Animal Services of San Luis Obispo are describing the conditions that more than 40 dogs were living in at a home in Atascadero.
The owner of that home was arrested yesterday morning for Felony Animal Cruelty. Police say the bodies of two large dogs were also found decaying on the side of the house. The dogs that survived were taken to the San Luis Obispo County Animal Services where they’re staying for the time being.
44 dogs in all were seized on Thursday morning. Officials say about half of them had physical or medical conditions and were living in filthy and overcrowded conditions.
“The result is that the animals wind up being impacted and the environment deteriorates and they end up suffering,” SLO Animal Services Manager Eric Anderson said.
Eric Anderson is the manager of San Luis Obispo County Animal Services. The dogs are temporarily being held here.
“Whether they really care about them, the issue is that they’re not able to care for that many animals,” Anderson said.
Anderson says many of the dogs have bite wounds.
“Untreated skin conditions and infections, some dogs with neurological problems, dental disease, fractured teeth, ear problems,” Anderson said.
Atascadero Police arrested the owner of the property, Suzanne Sollenne. She wouldn’t talk to us on camera but says she was a registered dog rescuer for 16 years and that she’s rescued and found homes for hundreds of dogs.
Neighbors are shocked.
“There were just like cops everywhere and they were asking me about my neighbor,” neighbor Nick Velci said.
Nick Velci is Sollenne’s neighbor. He says many people on their street know her and support her.
“She’s actually a really nice lady, I’ve known her since I was about five, she’s been rescuing dogs since I’ve known her,” Velci said.
Velci says Sollenne might’ve taken in more dogs than she could handle.
“She literally spends all her time caring for the dogs and finding homes for them, that’s all she wants to do,” Velci said.
“Our objective with all these animals is to treat them and get them recovered as much as possible,” Anderson said.
Animal Services is asking people to donate blankets for these dogs to sleep on if you can. They ask that they not be stuffed or electric blankets because those can be choking hazards. You can donate those at their location on 885 Oklahoma Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405