Dozens of Yorkies and Yorkie mix breed Dogs are being cared for after being rescued from what’s being described as “deplorable conditions” from a home in suburban San Diego.

Officials with the San Diego Humane Society say members of its Humane Law Enforcement Team rescued nearly 80 dogs being kept in filthy conditions by an elderly couple in the home. A photo released by the society after team members entered the home on Friday shows a group of unkept and solemn looking dogs standing side by side, some standing on a cage, crowded into what appears to be a living room of the home.

Because conditions were so filthy inside the home rescue workers had to wear protective gear and respirators upon entering.

Dogs were covered with feces, urine

As rescue crews examined the frightened and bewildered dogs they found their hair matted by feces and urine, and crawling with fleas. Many of the dogs also suffered from ear infections and skin conditions. Because the rescue effort was still going on late Friday night, society officials could not say exactly how many dogs were being rescued, but said it was nearly 80. Officials did not say where the rescue took place, except that it was in a residential neighborhood in the North County area.

After enforcement team members arrived at the home they set up a triage operation to assess the dogs, who were then brought to the society’s San Diego center.

At the center the dogs were being checked out by veterinarians, then cleaned up, provided medical treatment, give vaccinations and behavior assessments. It’s hoped the dogs, described as "very sweet and loving, but very scared and nervous little animals," could be put up for adoption as quickly as possible.

“We always dread seeing a situation like this,” Dr.

Gary Weitzman, president and CEO for the society said in a statement Friday. “It’s tragic for the animals and often for the people involved. But when this happens, our first response is always for the animals. In this case nearly 80 of them.”

Stephen MacKinnon, Chief of Humane Law Enforcement for the society, said that the rescue came after the owners of the dogs contacted the society and asked for help.

“We see this type of situation all too often when well-intentioned people get in over their heads,” MacKinnon said.

Follows similar rescue last month

The rescue in the North County area comes after a similar rescue by the San Diego Humane Society last month when 78 dogs were taken from a home in El Cajon, east of San Diego. Most of those dogs have been put up for adoption, but 33 of the dogs, who were either pregnant or two young to be adopted, are expected to be available for adoption in February.