Many of the dozens of dogs that made national headlines when they were crammed into two crates and abandoned at an Orange County park last month will be available for adoption Saturday at the county’s annual Pet Fair.
Over the last month, workers and volunteers at Orange County Animal Care treated the dogs for neglect and socialized them to overcome their fear.
Primarily small Lhasa Apso and Chihuahua mixes, many of the animals had matted hair, overgrown nails and abrasions when they were left in crates at San Remo Park in Laguna Hills.
“We’re very excited to include these dogs in our annual Pet Fair adoption event,” said Ryan Drabek, director of OC Animal Care. “They have endured quite a lot in the last month and we look forward to giving our community the opportunity to give these dogs, and many others, a second chance.”
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating the case of the abandoned dogs.
In May, passersby found 29 dogs jammed into two crates and abandoned at a Laguna Hills park. Investigators tracked the dogs to a man, who said he was attempting to rescue the creatures from his mother, a Rancho Santa Margarita woman with a severe hoarding condition, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
But the ill-conceived rescue attempt went awry when the son’s car allegedly broke down, said authorities. That’s when he abandoned the dogs crammed on top of each other in two crates without food or water.
An additional three dogs were impounded after the ongoing investigation led authorities to the woman’s Rancho Santa Margarita home. Such large-scale cases of dog hoarding are rare in suburban communities such as Orange County, said police and animal control officials.
Police are continuing to investigate the case and have not yet determined if the man will face criminal charges, said Bridget Kelly, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Saturday’s Pet Fair runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Orange County Animal Shelter at 516 The City Drive in Orange. The event will include discounted adoptions on the abandoned dogs and hundreds of other adoptable dogs, cats, bunnies, and critters.