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Maltese and Bichon Frise dogs need second chance

Wednesday - 7/31/2013, 12:08pm  ET

shaven Maltese (Courtesy of Fairfax County Animal Control)
Here is what one of the Maltese dogs looks like after grooming. (Courtesy of Fairfax County Animal Control)

WASHINGTON - Dog lovers, here's your chance to give a Maltese or a Bichon Frise a home.

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter will have at least 10 for adoption, with some available Wednesday.

Animal control officers took 23 small dogs from a home in the Springfield, Va., area.

Their owner became ill and gave them up.

"The person just simply could no longer care for the animals," said Kristen Auerbach, spokeswoman for the Fairfax County Animal Shelter.

Here's what the same dog looked like before grooming. (Courtesy of Fairfax County Animal Control)

"They're all very tiny. Some of them were in very poor condition. Some of them were in good condition."

Over the last five days a veterinarian has been monitoring and treating the dogs.

"They were in desperate need of medical care," Auerbach said.

The dogs, which are friendly, easy-to-handle breeds, range in age from six months to 8 years old.

The healthiest of them just needed to be cleaned up and to be spayed or neutered.

"The dogs were in desperate need of grooming. They reduce to about a fourth of their size when we groom them," Auerbach said.

But Auerbach said some of the dogs had heart murmurs, cataracts and other health problems. One was missing part of a leg.

She said four dogs a day will be brought to the shelter for adoption. After receiving treatment, others will be available.

People looking to adopt the dogs will be able to see them at the shelter or online.

The Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter has provided financial support to help treat the dogs.

WTOP's Neal Augenstein contributed to this report. Follow @AugensteinWTOP, @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter.

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