PROVIDENCE — Animal-control officers, called to a house on Phebe Street Wednesday afternoon for a report of pet hoarding, witnessed a waterfall of dachshunds and Chihuahuas come spilling down the stairs from the second floor.
About 50 dogs, all but 3 of them of small breeds, were living in the single-family house at 77 Phebe St., said Jennifer Siakotos, a veterinary technician with the Providence Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Siakotos said all the dogs seemed to be in good shape and the house was relatively clean. But an ordinance does limit to three the number of adult dogs someone can have in the city.
Animal control officials from Pawtucket, East Providence and Providence took temporary custody of the animals until their care was further investigated, said Joseph Warzychi, an investigator for the SPCA.
The dogs were being cared for by a woman in her 40s who was living in the house and who began crying when the animal control officers arrived, said Siakotos.
Siakotos said the animal-control officers were standing in the living room when one of them asked the woman of the house if she had other dogs in the house. The woman told the animal control officers to close the door leading outside and then went upstairs and opened a door, effectively releasing the flood gate.
Siakotos said a flood of dogs came rushing down the stairs but none barked.