An elderly California couple who avoided charges when more than 100 Dogs were found living in crowded and filthy conditions in their San Diego-area home are now facing animal abuse charges after authorities say they were found to be hoarding even more dogs.

Officials say 73-year-old Mark Vattimo and 62-year-old Christine Calvert have been arrested after Calvert was found with 46 Yorkies and Yorkie-mix dogs crowded into a motorhome in Primm, Nevada, outside of Las Vegas on Feb. 24. The San Diego County District Attorney's Office says Calvert had fled California with the dogs in the RV after it had been purchased by Vattimo.

He was arrested the next day.

Rescued dogs taken to San Diego

The 46 dogs found living in the RV have been transported to the San Diego Humane Society, the same organization that rescued 123 Yorkies and Yorkie-mixes in separate rescues from the couple’s property in Poway, north of San Diego, in January. Most of those dogs, after being groomed and treated for various ailments, have been adopted.

Third rescue of dogs kept by the elderly couple

In the first of what turned into two rescues within a few days in January, crews found more than 90 dogs living in a house that was so filthy that rescuers had to wear respirators and protective gear before entering the home. Crews found the scared and bewildered dogs in pitiful condition, with hair matted by feces and urine, and crawling with fleas, while many of the dogs also suffered from ear infections and skin conditions.

A puppy with a deformed leg apparently caused by congenital defect hobbled about, while at least one dog had difficulty walking because its nails had grown so long.

In a second rescue several days later, after learning their were more dogs on the property, rescuers found some 30 additional Yorkies and Yorkie-mixes.

At the time, no charges were filed against the couple and their names were not released. But now, prosecutors say Vattimo and Calvert are facing the possibility of up to nine years in prison.

“The shocking conditions and sheer number of Animals in the defendants’ home make this a particularly disturbing case of animal abuse,” San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said in a statement after Vattimo and Calvert were arrested.

The additional dogs that were found in the motorhome with Calvert are being cared for by the San Diego Humane Society, where they’ll be spayed and neutered and be given medical treatment and behavior assessments. They are not yet available for adoption.

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