PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - A Palm Springs man is literally In the dog house, living with 20 four-legged friends, after adopting one dog from the City of Palm Springs Animal Shelter. Now a possible oversight is multiplying by the litter.
Richard Rutgard adopted King Kong, 2 years ago. He was told the St. Bernard mix was neutered and brought him home to live with two female dogs, Ginger and Daisy. One thing lead to another and 8 months ago, what was once three's company turned into a union that produced 16 pouncing puppies. Rutgard says, "They're so amazingly nice and kind and sweet."
Two of the puppies died. Last weekend one of his dogs was injured and animal control picked her up. When Rutgard went to get the dog, he was cited. He tells us, "It says I have an illegal kennel and I have two months to get rid of the dogs. I'm allowed to have only three dogs in Palm Springs."
The person who cited him is the same person who adopted King Kong out, saying he was neutered. Rutgard says, "When he was issuing a citation, telling me I have to give them up in two months, he didn't even suggest bringing them in there. They spent $10 million on the most beautiful building."
Now he wants to have all 14 pups fixed, but says it's a major expense and he'd like the animal shelter to help out. He says, "I'd like to have them pay. It's like child support for the rest of the puppies lives."
In the meantime, Ginger, the lab mix is expecting even more puppies. Rutgard says, "She's pregnant now. The vet says she can have up to 14 more puppies."
Rutgard has one big question for the shelter. "Why did they sell me a dog that wasn't neutered?"
Palm Springs Animal Control issued this statement: "We have taken administrative action and filed with the City Attorney's office for further review. We are looking into whether this is a dog that's slipped through the cracks, but we need access to scan his chip. We are working to correct this."
When we asked him why he didn't just take the dogs back , he says he loves them.
Rutgard says, "I feel safe, secure and I'm happy. It's very therapeutic for a person."