More than a dozen dogs and cats that were left alone and starving for days at a northwest Miami-Dade home after their owner was hospitalized were rescued Tuesday.
Animal Services responded to the home in the 3400 block of Northwest 35th Avenue Tuesday morning to remove the pets, which included 16 dogs and a couple cats, spokesman Luis Salgado said.
According to Salgado, Animal Services had visited the home three days ago after a neighbor had reported that the dogs were outside the home. Workers left food and water for the animals and posted a notice of possible abandonment, Salgado said.
Animal Services later learned from a neighbor that the homeowner had been hospitalized and placed in an assisted living facility. They haven't made contact with the owner yet, Salgado said.
"Yesterday was real bad, it smelled like a dead body in there yesterday," neighbor Gonzalo Mendoza said.
Mendoza said the owner, Hilda De Del, normally cares for all her pets and takes in strays.
"Dogs just walk by, and they'll just come in, and she'll feed them," he said. "That's just the way she is, she just hoards dogs, I guess."
The dogs will be taken into the care of Animal Services, Salgado said.
"Hopefully, they take them now, and they're going to be better, because I don't know when she's going to come back," neighbor Heidi Rojas said.