NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE -

Miami Police were called to a Northwest Miami-Dade home Monday night after receiving reports that several animals had been abandoned at the home.

"It had a foul odor back there," said neighbor Gonzalo Mendoza. "I was wondering about the smell. It's too many dogs."

Investigators found 16 dogs abandoned and left to fend for themselves at a home on Northwest 35th Avenue and 35th Street. One dog was even trapped in the gate of the front door.

Special Section: Local 10's Animal Advocate

Neighbors stepped in to help as much as they could, feeding the starving pups and hoping that some, just days old, would survive.

"They're really, really hungry," said Heidy Rojas. "I feel so bad for them."

When posted citations were ignored, neighbors called Miami-Dade Animal Services.

"The dog owner was hospitalized back on the 16th," said Luis Salgado of Miami-Dade Animal Services. "When she was removed from the hospital, she went to an assisted care facility or a nursing home."

Hilda De Real, 85, was known as an animal lover in the neighborhood.. The dogs were reportedly her only family.

All the animals were rescued and taken into care of Miami-Dade Animal Services.

But now in cages at the shelter, seemingly in good spirits, these furballs need new homes.

"There's no sick animals. There's no injured animals that we can see," Salgado said. "The puppies seem healthy and in good condition. She did sign the dogs over to us so all the dogs will be available for adoption today."

De Real will not face any charges.

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