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Dozens of dogs abandoned in Riverside County up for adoption

January 29, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A massive roundup is under way in Riverside County, where hundreds of stray dogs were left behind in a migrant encampment. Now, the challenge is to find them new homes.

Dozens of dogs have already been captured, but many more are still roaming a part of the Coachella Valley known as Duroville. The rescue operation will likely take weeks, given the magnitude of the project.

So far, 43 dogs have been taken off the muddy streets of Duroville. The trailer park is in the process of being demolished. Several former tenants have already left, leaving behind many of their animals.

Resident Egnacia Quintero says there are many dogs - big ones, small ones - all left behind by their owners.

Animal control officials were once again out there Tuesday, collecting the strays while sorting out dogs with owners.

"We're asking the owners that they can please put on blue tag around the owned dogs' necks. That way, we know if they are owned or not," said Lt. Luis Rosa with Riverside County Animal Services.

Once animal control officers finish rounding up the dogs, they'll be taking them to their facility in Thousand Palms. They are hoping from there they'll be able to find the dogs permanent homes.

"They have generated a lot of interest on the Internet, Facebook. Rescue organizations have been talking about coming in and getting some of these dogs," said John Welsh with Riverside County Animal Services.

Tuesday was the first day many of the captured dogs went up for adoption, but no one showed up to adopt them.

"We have vaccinated them, we've microchipped them, we've checked them for any injuries and we're also adopting them out for free," said Welsh.

That also includes spaying and neutering. For information about adopting these dogs, call the Coachella Valley Animal Campus at (760) 343-3644.


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