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Rescue group shut down, dogs removed from home after WREG report

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. -- A new day brought a happy ending for nearly two dozen dogs from a Mississippi rescue group found living in filth at a DeSoto County home.

After WREG's story aired Wednesday, North Mississippi Great Dane Rescue was shut down and every dog was removed from the house.

Another rescue group stepped up to take the pups in.

The images of 18 dogs living in a trash-filled home, surrounded by their own urine and feces, sparked outrage on social media.

DeSoto County Animal Control admitted it had been investigating the property for the past month after receiving complaints, but the dogs weren’t removed until Wednesday, one day after WREG reported the issues.

"They should be stepping up immediately," said animal advocate Laura Jean-Drewery. "It’s not the rescue community that is failing the animals, it is law enforcement that is failing the rescue community."

Sources close to the rescue group tell WREG the home belongs to the rescue group’s founder and president, whom we’re not naming because she hasn’t been charged with a crime.

"We like to give owners the ability to correct the situation and work with the owners to clean it up, and that’s where we were," said DeSoto County Animal Services Director Monica Mock. "But the situation deteriorated and we had to step back in."

Mock said the owner voluntarily surrendered 10 dogs and one cat after WREG's story aired and those photos went viral on social media.

"I assumed it was the pressure," Mock said.

The remaining dogs, she said, were placed in other homes.

"They’re happy, they’re healthy, they’re friendly, they’ve eaten well, they’ve been easy to handle," Mock said.

But the rescue group Dames for Danes, which has agreed to take custody of the pups, said in a Facebook post Thursday that two of the dogs were left in the care of the owner.

Mock would only say that every dog was removed from the property and wouldn't confirm if the owner was allowed to take any dogs to another property she owns.

Shelter officials haven’t yet decided if they’ll pursue charges against that woman.

"What we think is most important is the welfare of the dogs," Mock said. "The fact that she did surrender them… That was our goal, to get the dogs out of their and to get the into good homes."

WREG has tried getting in touch with the founder and president of the North Mississippi Great Dane Rescue group for comment, but she hasn’t gotten back to us.

On its Facebook page, Dames for Danes said North Mississippi Great Dane Rescue has been shut down.

Dames for Danes is expected to pick up the dogs by next week, Mock said.