A hoarding case of what was originally estimated to involve about 80 dogs found living in filthy conditions in a San Diego-area home is turning out to involve considerably more Dogs.

Officials with the San Diego Humane Society say now their crews have rescued 123 Yorkies and Yorkie mixes in an effort that began last Friday and continued on into Tuesday. After more than 90 dogs were rescued last weekend, nearly 30 additional dogs -- including nine puppies -- were rescued late Tuesday when officials learned more dogs were being kept by an elderly couple in the North County area of San Diego.

Officials are not releasing the names of the couple, or even saying exactly where the rescue, or rescues, took place. But they do say the hoarders have agreed to transfer legal custody of the dogs and some puppies to the Humane Society.

“It is not unusual for hoarders to hide Animals or move them to other locations in a desperate attempt to hold onto something they love,” the society posted on its Facebook page late Wednesday. “We might not understand their rationale or actions but our Humane Law Enforcement officers were able to convince the elderly couple involved to sign legal custody of the additional dogs and some puppies over to us.”

Dogs were living in crowded, filthy conditions

When members of the society’s law enforcement team first arrived at the home of the hoarders during a pouring rainstorm last Friday they found dozens of what was described as “very sweet and loving, but very scared and nervous little animals," crowded inside.

Conditions were so filthy in the home that rescue workers had to wear protective gear and respirators before entering.

Most of the dogs were covered in urine and feces and infested with fleas. The hair of some of the dogs was so matted that groomers found velcro, chewing gum wrappers, a four-inch plastic spike and countless other items tangled in their coats.

Dogs suffered from various ailments

Many of the dogs suffered from a variety of ailments -- including skin conditions, ear infections and parasites -- caused by the lack of care while living in their unsanitary surroundings. At least one dog could not walk properly because its nails had grown so long, while a five-month-old puppy was suffering from a congenital defect, with one her back legs appearing to be malformed.

“We always dread seeing a situation like this,” Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO for the society said late last Friday as the initial rescue effort was underway. “It’s tragic for the animals and often for the people involved.”

As for the elderly couple hoarding the dogs, Humane Society officials said late Wednesday they could not elaborate fully on the case because of the ongoing investigation. But they were working to handle the matter “with sensitivity and compassion.”

Since being rescued the dogs have been bathed, groomed and provided medical care by veterinarians. Officials are pledging to provide updates on the progress of the dogs as they recover from the ordeal. It’s expected that many will be available for adoption in February.

Follows similar rescue in December

The rescue in the North County area by the San Diego Humane Society comes after a similar rescue effort in December 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 as well.