An investigation has been launched after a man dumped 44 Chihuahuas at an already overcrowded shelter in Southern California on Saturday, officials said.
The lot ranged from puppies to adults, Los Angeles Animal Services officials said. Some were in good health, some were not, and many were "skinny."
The man who dropped them off at the East Valley Animal Shelter in Van Nuys was believed to be a breeder, officials said. Animal Services was looking into whether the original owner was breeding dogs illegally or let a few litters get out of hand.
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Officials were hoping people would come in and adopt some of the pups to make room for new ones.
"Although some do get homes, not all of them do," said Jan Selder of Animal Services.
Of the 44 dogs, 24 have been fostered, rescued by organizations or adopted.
"People need to stop using dogs for their financial gain," said Katie Love, an adopter. "For them to just throw dogs away like they're trash is ridiculous."
The East Valley Animal Shelter is located at 14409 Vanowen St. It is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. It's closed on Mondays and holidays. Phone: 888-452-7381.