SPCA removes dogs, cats from grooming business

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Erie County SPCA removed 18 dogs and four cats from TLC Boarding and Grooming Wednesday afternoon and say at least one of the dogs was near death.

Investigators say the animals were staying in filthy conditions at the facility on Genesee Street, in Cheektowaga. Instead of a spa treatment at TLC Boarding and Grooming, the SPCA says the animals were living in feces.

PHOTOS | Click here to see a gallery of the SPCA removing the animals

An anonymous tip led the SPCA to the site. Investigator Bill Heine first stopped at the grooming and boarding facility Tuesday night to speak with the owner.

“She reluctantly let me inside, found a lot of dogs covered in feces, kennels hadn’t been cleaned in a while,” he said.

Heine said the owner explained the mess by saying it was a long weekend and she hadn’t been able to get all the cleaning done. But he said the dogs had been living in the filth for much longer than a weekend.

“The kennels were dirty, the smell was horrible, and the dogs were living in bad conditions,” said Heine.

The mess may have accumulated over longer span of time than a weekend, but that’s all it took to make one dog incredibly sick.

“The dog had a healthy checkup on 28th of August in preparation for boarding and his status dramatically changed between then and now,” said Town and Country Animal Clinic Veterinarian Dr. Amy Leach.

Saber, an 8-year-old Husky, stayed at TLC Grooming Plus over the Labor Day weekend. When his owner picked him up something was terribly wrong. He’s been at the Town and Country Animal Clinic since.

“He’s touch and go. He may not make it,” said Dr. Leach.

News 4 was there as dog after dog were removed from the groomer.

“We see that several of the dogs have been groomed since last evening. She had mentioned that she had been here until 3 o’clock in the morning getting dogs in order,” said Heine.

The challenge now is trying to figure out who these dogs belong to.

“I’m hoping she’s got good records. I told her to start digging things up so I could start going through what dogs she owns and what belonged to other clients,” said Heine.

The SPCA believes some of these dogs belonged to the owner of TLC Grooming Plus. Charges are pending against her.

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