71 Beagles Rescued From Appalling Conditions

There were heartbreaking scenes as animal welfare workers rescued more than 70 beagles abandoned after their breeder died.

The Lehigh County Humane Society originally believed there were only 25 dogs inside the home after responding to noise complaints but an inspection revealed the true extent of the appalling conditions the dogs had been left in.

Rescuers were left scrambling to find care for the 71 dogs seized after they were found inside the cramped home in Pennsylvania. Most  needed urgent medical attention and were lacking basic needs like water and food.

It's reported the owner of the dogs was an unlicensed breeder who had died in September, leaving the animals in the care of the owner of the home she was living in.

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One of the dogs rescued receives urgent medical care. Image: AP

It took rescuers six hours and two trucks to remove all 71 dogs from the home, with police officer Barbara Morgan telling AP that she had never seen "so many animals squeezed into such a small space."

The majority of the dogs were suffering from a range of health issues including fleas, mange, vision issues and severe malnutrition.

The dogs ranged from just weeks old, to senior aged dogs who need immediate care.

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Image: AP

Overwhelmed staff at the rural shelter are currently evaluating the influx of beagles and are struggling to cope as the shelter typically only handles 200 animals at once.

“It is beagle-mania here right now,” said Morgan.

Simple bathing and grooming the animals that were kept in such appalling conditions for so long has become a challenge.

The shelter is struggling to cope with the 71 dogs in need or urgent care. Image: AP

It's believed the owner of the home will likely be charged over the animal cruelty.

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Meanwhile the staff at the shelter now face the difficult task of finding forever homes for the hounds who have been left helpless and rescued just in time.

“It is really stressing for staff, but they’ve told me this is why they are here and they appreciate being able to help,”

Mary Shafer, the executive director of the county Humane Society told AP.