(KUTV) Days after Davis County Animal Services rescued three dogs locked inside an abandoned Woods Cross home, authorities believe they will make a full recovery.
Acting on an anonymous tip, Woods Cross Police and Davis County Animal Services executed a search warrant to remove the animals from the home Sunday.
“There was feces and urine all over. Empty dog-food bowls; empty water bowls. No signs of even a bag of dog food anywhere in the house,” Jamie Stell, the animal control officer who rescued the dogs, said. “I could hardly get myself into the door because they wanted to get out so bad.”
Adult golden retriever, Lucky, weighed 21 pounds when he was rescued. Three days later, he weighed about 30 pounds.
Lucky’s companion, a German shepherd named Zeus, weighed about 45 pounds which is less than half the weight of the breed’s standard.
“They were extremely malnourished and emaciated. Their ribs were sticking out,” said Officer Jen Hicks.
The alpha, a pit bull named Optimus, had some minor indigestion but is eating several small meals throughout the day as his body acclimates to food again.
Optimus, Zeus and Lucky are now eating and drinking regularly and will be ready for adoption later next month.
Hicks said the landlord of the Woods Cross home at 1723 South 1200 West evicted 24-year-old Shaleesa Luceros and 28-year-old Cody Luceros Nov. 24.
“Although the owners weren’t evicted until the 24th, it looked as though the dogs had been starved and hadn’t been fed for several weeks.”
Hicks said members of their church were offering assistance and support while they were going through some legal and financial issues.
“Three huge boxes of meat were found on the back patio of the residence. It looked like they were spoiling,” Hicks said.
The dogs were locked inside the home, just inches from the rotting meat.
Hicks said the Luceros were cooperating with police and told them they couldn’t afford food or fees to surrender the dogs.
“The fact that they were saying that they couldn’t provide for the animals, that just seemed to not play out correctly,” she said. “If they had just surrendered them over, that fee would have absolutely been waived so that they could save these dogs lives.”
“If you just can’t handle it anymore, let us know. We can work with you. We’ll take them,” said Stell. “We can even come to you.”
The Luceros were released from jail Monday. They each face three counts of animal cruelty. They will appear in the Davis County Municipal Court on Dec. 6.
Stell assisted Woods Cross Police with the rescue. She has been checking in on the animals every day since the rescue.
“Saving an animal, saving a person. It always makes you feel good.”
Stell hoped all three will find a loving new home.
“Someone that will love them, feed them, care for them, take them for runs. Make them part of their family.”
She would ideally like to see Zeus and Lucky stay together.
“They seem pretty bonded.”
Forward By Jennifer Rice Of Sugarsoil