RACINE -- More than two dozen dogs were taken from a Racine home after authorities found them in terrible conditions.
Their owners were arrested and most of the dogs are now in the care of the Wisconsin Humane Society.
Heather D. Jensen, 33, and Terry S. Bogard, 63, face 26 counts each of intentionally or negligently mistreating animals, according to a criminal complaint.
Jensen operated "Lucky Mutts" dog rescue at a home in the 1400 block of Harmony Dr., with Bogard, her boyfriend, according to the complaint.
The complaint says the walls of the home were streaked with "mud or feces," and the floors were covered "in a thick coat of dog fur."
"The smell of urine was overwhelming," said Angela Speed with the Wisconsin Humane Society.
She says it was heartbreaking to see the conditions these 26 dogs were kept in.
"In any situation when you're dealing with that volume of animals housed together so closely, it's very stressful for the animals," she said. "It's loud, it's dirty, it's smelly. We're giving them several days to kind of adjust."
Two of the dogs were allowed to stay with relatives of Jensen. The other 24 are now at three different shelters within the Wisconsin Humane Society. They've all been seen by a veterinarian and are receiving treatment if needed.
"Some of the dogs are working with our behavior staff to warm up because they're fearful," said Speed.
She says they've seen improvement in just the last few days.
"This morning, I came into work and I saw one of the dogs walking outside wagging his tail with an equally joyous volunteer and their futures look so much brighter than they did on Friday afternoon," said Speed.
The dogs are still part of a criminal investigation so they're not available for adoption. The humane society will post any updates on its Facebook page.
If convicted of all counts, Jensen and Bogard both face up to 19 and a half years in prison.
Lucky Mutts Rescue didn't return our request for comment, but their Facebook page says Jensen has been removed from her position as president.