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Exclusive: Neighbors take action to save 8 dogs abandoned in backyard

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DENVER -- Five adult dogs and three puppies were left abandoned in a backyard for several days during our recent string of hot days.

Neighbors were so disturbed by what they saw in their west Denver neighborhood, they reached out to FOX31 Denver for help.

Neighbors saw the renters who used to live at 1529 S. Newton St. move out Monday.

"A U-haul pulled up one day and they were gone," says one neighbor who didn't want to identify herself.

They left behind their trash, their mail, but most importantly, eight dogs.

"I do feel bad for the animals. They just up and walked out and left everything," says neighbor Gary Richardson.

Three French bulldogs, one pregnant. Five Rottweiler’s, three of them puppies.

And all of them thirsty.

"So a couple of neighbors last night (Wednesday) went and got some dog food, gave them dog food and gave them water. They were very hungry," says the unidentified neighbor.

She doesn't want to give her name because it looks like the renters were growing marijuana at the house.

"We got complaints the dogs are not looking too well," says a Denver Animal Shelter officer to the home's owner, who rented to the suspects, identified as Tania Ortega and Rito Hernandez.

The officer learns Ortega and Hernandez abandoned the animals.

Police arrive to help in case there's any trouble.

"Hey! Hey!" yells a police officer, as dogs growl and one starts crying.

But the only trouble is among the dogs.

"The dogs are at the point where they are agitated with each other and are starting to fight with each other," says Denver Animal Shelter Sgt. Stephan Romero.

One of the bulldogs attacked the pregnant bulldog and left her with serious bites to her leg.

Plus, their living conditions are filthy.

"Lots of excrement all over the yard. The smell of excrement and urine, very old water. It's not good enough to drink," says Romero.

One after the other, they capture the animals and place them in cages.

Finally, the last puppy is captured and ready to go to the animal shelter for puppy training.

"I didn't know what was going to happen. They're good dogs. They'll have a good home," says Richardson.

Romero says if the owners do not claim the dogs, they could be put up for adoption in several weeks.

The owners face citations for abandonment and animal neglect and cruelty.

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