This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Ogden • A 60-year-old man says he doesn't know how he let his good intention to rescue dogs turn into a hoarding situation that ended with last week's removal of 149 sick and starving Chihuahua dogs from his home in Ogden.
"I don't understand me," Miguel Salgado told the Standard-Examiner (http://bit.ly/XSaEuv ). "I think now: 'Why?'"
Animal services officers and volunteers removed the mixed-breed Chihuahuas from his home and took them to four agencies. Health officials have told Salgado he can't live in the house until it's cleaned out and he will have to replace all his furnishings, including clothes. Until then, he is staying with friends.
Salgado said he shut off his electricity and telephone service to pay for dog food, of which the dogs went through an estimated 100 pounds a week.
He said things got out of control after he underwent open-heart surgery two years ago. He took in strays, dogs given to him by neighbors and canines dumped over his fence by others. Only a few were spayed or neutered.
"The doctors tell me, 'You lucky man. No operation, you dead,' " said Salgado, who speaks limited English. "All I'm thinking is, 'What happen to my dogs?' "
When animal services officers and volunteers removed the Chihuahuas from his home, the dogs were suffering from starvation and ammonia burns from exposure to urine. Some have birth defects from inbreeding. They will be put up for adoption after receiving shots and an examination by a veterinarian.
Salgado cried as he talked about the dogs being gone.
"It's the babies, it's life," he told the Standard-Examiner. "I'm crying, but I'm happy for the dogs. For the rest of my life, I'm missing the dogs."