Credit: Jessica Ortega-Wiebe

On Friday afternoon, Santa Barbara County Animal Services announced that an 18-person team removed over 100 Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes from a home in Lompoc after a tip from a concerned citizen. After the tip was received, the property where the dogs were being housed was visited, and the owner agreed to relinquish control of the dogs to Animal Services.

What followed over the course of the next 12 hours was a Herculean effort to give the dogs veterinary attention, transport them to the Santa Maria Animal Center for the night, and then arrange for transportation of the rescued animals to various humane societies and animal care centers the next morning, where they will be cared for until “loving homes” are found for them, according to a press release from Animal Services.

Angela Walters Yates, director of Santa Barbara County Animal Services, was full of praise for the team of staff and volunteers who made the rescue possible. “This was an extraordinary effort on the part of our team and rescue partners,” said Yates on Saturday. “Within 12 hours of receiving the initial report, 104 dogs had received veterinary care, were safely housed at our Santa Maria shelter for the night, and rescue transports were scheduled for this morning. What initially seemed impossible became a shining example of what we can accomplish through dedication, teamwork, and committed partnerships!”

The massive rescue team worked long hours well into the night to pull off the rescue and was composed of “a veterinarian, two registered veterinary technicians, four Animal Control officers, three supervisory staff, five support staff, and three volunteers,” according to the release. The dogs are now being held at Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society, Santa Barbara Humane Society, Ventura County Animal Services, Ventura Humane Society, Woods Humane Society, and the Burbank Humane Society, where they will all be made available for adoption.

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