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Woman arrested after 60 dogs found in filthy, cramped cages in San Diego County

March 10, 2010 |  4:03 pm
A Lakeside woman was arrested on suspicion of felony animal neglect Wednesday after authorities found 60 dogs in filthy, cramped conditions inside her small home, officials said.IMG_1177

Alice Via, 65, was taken into custody after San Diego County animal control officers served a search warrant at her home, where she operates a dog rescue shelter.

The dogs, the majority of which were boxers, were in small caged crates stacked on top of each other inside the 750 square-foot residence, authorities said.

Many of the dogs were covered with ticks, and others had respiratory problems, said Lt. Dan DeSousa of the county Department of Animal Services.

One dog was so thirsty that it was licking the condensation off the side of its crate when officers arrived at the home Wednesday morning. Others had sore paws from scratching the insides of the boxes.

031010crate The home reeked of feces and urine, according to DeSousa, who said the dogs were taken outside for only an hour a day.

"She was in way over her head," DeSousa said of Via, who also kept chihuahuas and terriers at the site.

Via is also facing misdemeanor charges of illegal confinement, failure to provide veterinarian care and failure to possess a kennel license, DeSousa said.

-- Robert J. Lopez

Photos: Animal control officers take dogs from Lakeside home, where they were stored in the crates pictured above. Credit: San Diego County Department of Animal Services.