By Ken MacLeod, WBZ-TV

WESTMINSTER (CBS) – After getting what may have been the first baths of their little lives – some six dozen Dachshunds were crated-up and loaded into vans this morning for the trip to a better place – many headed for the MSPCA.

“It was one of the worst situations I’ve seen,” says Westminster Animal Control Officer Mark Ransom.

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He’s talking about the squalor at a breeding kennel in Westminster, where officers acting on a tip discovered 71 dogs penned in disgusting and sub-freezing conditions – spilling into the home of Ed and Shirley Aguiar at 21 Harrington Road.

“Dogs living in their own waste,” says Ransom. “The smell of urine was burning your eyes when you were in there.”

The house itself was so filthy, that police summoned DCF to intervene on behalf of the couple’s three children – ranging in age from three to 14.

Dozens of dogs were seized from this kennel in Westminster (WBZ-TV)

Dozens of dogs were seized from this kennel in Westminster (WBZ-TV)

“We were just concerned about the welfare of the children,” says Westminster Police Lt. Mike McDonald.

The couple portrays themselves as the best Dachshund breeders in the state, and started advertising to board dogs last year – prompting investigators to wonder what kind of pet owner would allow that.

Dogs seized from Westminster kennel (WBZ-TV)

Dogs seized from Westminster kennel (WBZ-TV)

The Aguiar’s agreed to surrender most of their dogs when confronted by animal control officers.

But when we knocked on the door today to get the couple’s side of the story, Ed ordered us off of their property. They have not yet been charged with anything, but investigators are weighing possible animal cruelty charges.

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“All were filthy and some were emaciated,” says Officer Ransom. “Most had dental disease. We’re not sure if the dogs are vaccinated. We’re not sure if they’ve had any tests. We’re not sure if they’ve ever seen a veterinarian.”

By this afternoon, MSPCA vets were starting to examine the neglected Dachshunds.

Investigators pledged to pursue yanking the Aguiar’s kennel license – effectively putting them out of business.

“Anyone who puts a dog in this condition does not care about the pet,” concludes Officer Ransom. “At that point they’re just trying to make money.”

Offers of good homes are already rolling in.

But it will be awhile before these little guys can be adopted.

For more information visit www.MSPCA.org.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports: 

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