PARKVILLE, Md. - The website for the Baltimore Animal Rescue Network featured some model pets with humans to match, but the makeshift puppy farm discovered in the basement of a Parkville home featured dogs literally stacked on top of each other in inhumane conditions.
"Our officers found several dogs per cage---cages that were too small for the dogs to be in, as well as in filthy conditions---standing in their own urine, feces, that kind of thing," said Baltimore County Animal Control Assistant Chief Tom Scollins.
Neighbors on Quentin Avenue say they were unaware of the underground business in a rental house where pets were prohibited.
"One day I just saw the police show up. That's all," said Remi Alawode.
"Did you see any dogs?"
"I didn't see any dogs."
But animal control officers discovered 23 dogs and puppies representing a dozen different breeds that they ultimately rescued from the so-called rescue operation.
29-year old Anthony Geer allegedly traveled to neighboring states to obtain the unwanted dogs from shelters at no charge on the premise that he would find them better homes.
"They do want those puppies to go out of their shelters alive so they will give them to rescue groups or make themselves out to be rescue groups," said Scollins, "and then those unscrupulous or illegitimate rescue groups or people like this gentleman will bring them into jurisdictions where there aren't as many puppies available and simply sell them for a profit."
Tragically, three of the puppies suffered from diseases and had to be euthanized, while the other 20 dogs have been adopted from the shelter or sent to viable rescues.
Police caught up with Geer in Dorchester County and arrested him.
They discovered four additional animals at his home in Cambridge and more charges may be forthcoming.