Neighbors claim Detroit woman is hoarding dogs

Neighbors claim Detroit woman is hoarding dogs

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Neighbors claim Leah Montgomery is hoarding several dogs. Neighbors claim Leah Montgomery is hoarding several dogs.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

"I'm not stealing no dogs, and I'm not hoarding no dogs," said Leah Montgomery.

"How many dogs do you have?" I asked.

"I don't have that many," she answered.

Montgomery didn't want to give us a straight answer. Aside from the constant barking coming from her house on Ewers Street on the city's southwest side, it's hard to tell exactly how many.

One pit she showed us in the back yard, but her neighbors claim inside the house surrounded by fencing and boards, she is hoarding several.  Some they claim she even stole from their own yards.

"It looked just like my dog, the same markings, and stopped and I said, 'Where'd you get that dog?' She said, 'Someone gave me the dog.' And I said, 'No, I think that's my dog.' And she said, 'No it's not. Someone gave it to me.' And she grabbed it and went walking the other way," said Alicia Lake.

Neighbors said once Montgomery has them, she cages and neglects the animals barely giving them food and water.

"It stinks all up in the house from the upstairs to the downstairs. You've got dogs in her bedroom all the way down. You can't hear yourself if you go in her house because of all the barking," said Charles Miles.

"She hides them in there, so sometimes you don't know until you see her walking with them. But there'll be a whole bunch of them out there on the porch," said Wendy.

"There's a bunch of them, and when they become too much or if they die because they do starve -- if you see her dogs they're very sickly -- she'll put them in an abandoned house and just let their bodies rot, and that's a problem for me," said Cheyenne Byard.

In May of 2011, rescue organizations took more than 25 dogs, most of them pit bulls, out of Montgomery's house, describing the inside as a maze and the conditions unlivable.

Montgomery was accused of hoarding them at her house and the abandoned house next door, but we're told the Michigan Humane Society never brought a case against her. So it appears Montgomery started hoarding again.

Montgomery refused to open her door, but eventually admitted she had at least 15 dogs inside.

"How are you getting your dogs?" I asked.

"A couple people gave me dogs," she said.

"Are you feeding the dogs and giving them water," I asked.

"Yeah. I've got water. I've got dog food. Yes," she said.

Montgomery brought out the dog Lake claims she stole from her front yard last fall when it was just a puppy. The dog was just skin and bones and scarfed every bit of food provided by a generous neighbor.

In Detroit, residents are only allowed to have three dogs.

Police officers were at the home late Tuesday night.

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