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88 pets including dogs, cats, hamsters and a guinea pig seized from 2 Poquoson homes

A spokeswoman said the officers took in 71 dogs, 10 cats, six hamsters and one guinea pig. She didn't specify how many animals came from each home.

POQUOSON, Va. — Newport News Animal Welfare officers seized 88 animals from two homes in Poquoson on Wednesday, after allegedly finding them in unsanitary living conditions.

Poquoson doesn't have its own animal welfare department, so the two cities collaborate.

Kim Lee, a spokeswoman for Newport News, said the officers took in 71 dogs, 10 cats, six hamsters and one guinea pig. She didn't say how many animals came from each of the homes. Lee added there were 20 dogs in one home and 68 animals in the other. 

Beverly Mazzella said she was shocked to find out that she lives near one of the homes that had the animals.  

“Every night I would hear dogs barking but it didn't sound like normal barking. Some of them sounded like dogs in distress," said Mazzella. 

City leaders said they got a call from a concerned citizen about the animals living in unsanitary conditions.

“Especially, this climate, they need to be on flea medication, they need to be on heartworm, especially we’re right near the water. You couldn’t possibly take care of that amount of dogs," said Mazzella. 

All the animals are now getting medical care from staff at the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter, city leaders said.

“They’re better off there, at least they’re going to get the proper care. They are going to be walked, they’ll get food and possibly get adopted," said Mazzella. 

Lee said the owners of these animals are expected to face charges.

Many of the pets had medical issues, she said, and it was apparent they weren't getting veterinary care.

These pets won't be going up for adoption because the owners didn't surrender them. Right now, they're on a "seizure hold" where city employees can care for them.

A court case about the seizure is set for next week, Lee said. 

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