Couple with 166 pets taken wants to keep 5

Posted at 5:26 PM, Dec 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-14 17:26:35-05

ADAMS COUNTY, Ohio -- The couple who had 166 animals seized by authorities said they want to keep five dogs.

The couple told a county judge on Monday that they ran a shelter for unwanted pets, but the operation quickly spiraled out of control.

George Brock and Kitty Meyer said they didn't advertise their property -- Sugar Bear Dog and Cat Rescue -- as an animal haven "because we knew this would happen."

"We've been trying to downsize for years but it's hard," Brock said. "Just when three or five are adopted, here comes three or five more."

Brock and Meyer agreed to surrender the animals except for five personal dogs, but a judge ordered the County Health Department to look into the home's conditions before possibly allowing the animals to go back.

Dozens of investigators, working with local officials, descended upon Brock’s home and business Wednesday morning as part of a large-scale seizure -- 166 dogs and cats were found, some of them malnourished and with broken bones, Humane Society authorities said.

Officials called the conditions in the rescue “overwhelming” and “serious.”

“These dogs and cats were in a terrible situation – the owner had too many animals and was unable to provide adequate care. It is a huge relief that they will now receive the care and medical attention they so desperately need. We are grateful to the agencies who collaborated to make this a successful rescue,” Humane Society Ohio State Director Corey Roscoe said.

The dogs and cats that were rescued from the Adams County property are being cared for at an undisclosed location near Columbus.

Volunteers from all over the country flew to Adams County last week to help nurse the animals back to health.