By Whitney Burbank, WBZ-TV

DEDHAM (CBS) – Middleboro Police found 17 pit bulls stuffed into a small cage, “living in squalor” inside of a Middleboro home Wednesday morning.

According to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, 13 of the dogs are between five and six weeks old.

The puppies are in the custody of the ARL, except for one that is too sick to leave the Middleboro Animal Clinic. The 12 remaining puppies were sent in groups of four to ARL facilities in Dedham, Boston and Brewster. The four adult pit bulls are in custody of Middleboro Animal Control.

“You cant throw 13 puppies in together,” exclaimed Lt. Alan Borgal, Director of the Center for Animal Protection. “It just became like a mush of feces and urine and that’s what they were living in.”

Middleboro Police say all 17 dogs belong to 30-year-old John Campbell.

Police arrested Campbell on numerous drug and weapons charges after they raided his home Wednesday morning. Police were looking for drugs, but Borgal suspects Campbell was running a side business.

“(Campbell’s) got one male and three females, breeding females, and he has a history of selling puppies,” said Borgal. “I think you’ve got backyard breeders, people who are not professional breeders. They try and make a quick buck and don’t put a lot into the animal.”

The ARL will be caring for the puppies until they find a forever home. Borgal said they will be available for adoption in less than a month.

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