FAIRFAX, Va. (WJLA) -- Twenty-three dogs were removed from a Springfield home last week after their owner became too ill to care for them.
Fairfax County officials took the mostly Maltese and Bichon Frise dogs on Friday to the Fairfax County Animal Shelter. Melody Najafabadi and her younger sister of Fairfax Station knew within seconds of holding one of the dogs that they had to take him home.
"He looks so happy" said Melody Najafabadi while holding a trembling Maltese. The tiny dog is getting a big dose of tender loving care.
"I think this is the best day of my life," said Najafabadi's younger sister.
The meet-and-greet was an emotional one. Her family's beloved Maltese passed away. Their other one, who is equally adored, is battling cancer.
"It's a good feeling to have a dog because they love you unlike anyone else," said the 21 year-old.
"It makes me even happier to know that I saved this one," she said while cuddling her new pet.
All 23 dogs were surrendered to Fairfax County after animal control officers discovered their unhealthy living conditions. Not one was spayed or neutered so they kept multiplying inside a Springfield home.
"Some of the dogs had eye problems [while] others had heart murmurs," said Fairfax County Animal Shelter Communications Director Kristen Auerbach. "They had been kept in a situation with a woman who was older and could no longer care for them."
The dogs vary in age and breed. There are Maltese, Bichon Frises, a Pomeranian and mixtures of those ranging from 6 months to 7 years old.
"She's so nice," exclaimed 4 year-old Cassie Geer of Vienna.
She's getting herself a 4-legged sister.
"Snowball," she announced with pride.
"I'm going to give her dog food and water and I'm going to take her out for a walk with my baby brother and mom," said Cassie.
It's new lease on life for dogs itching for a forever home.
"They've had a rough life so far and they deserve to be loved," said Cassie's mom, Andrea Dahl.
Five out of the 23 dogs were ready for adoption Wednesday. All went home with new parents. At least seven more dogs will be released from the vet and be on the adoption floor Thursday.
The rest should hopefully arrive at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter over the weekend or shortly thereafter. Contact the shelter at 703-830-1100 for more information.