NEW YORK -- Authorities in New York City say they've rescued 22 dogs that were living with their owner in filthy conditions inside a Mercedes-Benz SUV.
New York Police Department officers alerted by a concerned citizen earlier this week found the 54-year-old woman and the dogs living inside the vehicle in the Bronx.
Authorities say a 4-year-old German shepherd named Bruno and 21 puppies were living in filth and needed medical attention when officers found them.
Two rescue groups are caring for the dogs. It's unclear when they will be available for adoption.
The dogs' owner was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
"We didn't realize how many were in there," Deputy Inspector Danielle Raia, commanding officer of the 45th Precinct, told CBS Radio station 1010 WINS. "They were in bad condition, the car was absolutely destroyed, it smelled horrendous. There was feces and urine everywhere, all over."
It is believed the dogs had never experienced life outside their cramped quarters.
"We were told the dogs never touched pavement, they never walked on regular concrete so this is the first time that they were actually out of that car," Raia said. "They lived their entire life in that car."
Some of the animals required immediate medical attention.
They are being cared for at the Bobbi & The Strays animal shelter.
"They're doing really good," founder Bobbi Giordano said.