Animal control officers and various law enforcement agencies responded to a report of nearly a dozen dogs and puppies trapped inside an abandoned McKeesport home Tuesday.
Officials said a neighbor reported hearing barking from inside the Jenny Lind Street house.Police originally wouldn't let animal control officers inside the house alone because the structure was in poor condition and they were afraid the house may collapse.
Firefighters eventually walked through the house with animal control officers as they looked for the dogs.
"As soon as we went inside, we started hearing the yelping right away," Animal Control Officer Ken Feree said.
As they were inside, heavy rainfall threatened to collapse the house, and the search was called off. The crews rescued the mother dog but said as many as eight puppies could still be inside.
"Given the house situation, the house has been vacant for 20 years and has been slit. The chimney is into the basement and the back second floor is coming into the basement," Feree said.
Authorities said the dogs could be anywhere inside the house, even under floor boards. The house has been unoccupied for years, so authorities aren't sure how or when the dogs got inside.
Officials said they left food outside the house in an attempt to lure the dogs out.
"Unfortunately the floor is still solid, so if we start swinging at it, the whole house might give in, so we can't do that right now," White Oak Animal Safe Haven volunteer Frank Sabolcik said.
Crews plan to resume their search on Wednesday or as soon as it's safe.