WALNUT CREEK (KPIX) — Dozens of cats and dogs were removed from a Danville home on Friday. The Contra Costa Animal Services labeled it a hoarding situation but the homeowner said the pets are part of a non-profit rescue and were waiting to be adopted.
“I just want the public to know this was not a hoarding situation,” said Bob Tarozzi, president and co-founder of the White Kitty Foundation, a non-profit animal rescue based out of his Danville home. “The animals were well taken care of.”
“We were trying to find them homes. They were all coming off lists where they would be euthanized by the counties, the various counties. So, you know, if we hadn’t saved them, they would’ve been dead,” Tarozzi explained.
He said the pandemic forced them to cancel public adoption events.
Since Bob has prostate cancer, his wife Cris Tarozzi, who also co-founded the non-profit, was caring for approximately 75 dogs and 25 cats. He said volunteers helped with feeding and cleaning the animals.
“On Wednesday night, my wife had a stroke,” Tarozzi said. “I’m not physically fit enough to take care of all these animals. Yes, we had a lot of animals. Did we have too many? Perhaps. That’s subjective. But they were well taken care of. I have thousands of dollars worth of medical bills from veterinarians to show that.”
Bob said his wife is still in the hospital and that was why he called other rescue groups to take the cats and dogs.
On Friday Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), the Berkeley Humane Society and The East Bay SPCA in Oakland took in 42 pets. The Contra Costa Animal Services received 37 cats and dogs. Contra Costa Animal Services said it had to euthanize six dogs due to pre-existing medical conditions.
Tarozzi kept five dogs and 10 cats because they’re too old for adoption.
“It was very heartbreaking for me to lose them but I knew I couldn’t take care of them and I knew that their best chance was with these other groups,” Tarozzi said.
Tarozzi hopes families will adopt the cats and dogs. He is angry that Contra Costa Animal Services called it a hoarding situation in a public statement on its Facebook page.
“It’s very upsetting for me, both to lose the animals, to have my wife in the hospital, to have my physical condition and then to have somebody sort of turn around, stab us in the back,” Tarozzi said.
The county agency was closed on Sunday and KPIX could not reach anyone there for comment.
As for pet adoptions, it will take time for workers to test the pets’ temperament and health. People interested in adopting should check with ARF, Berkeley Humane, SPCA in Oakland and Contra Costa Animal Services.