More than 30 dogs have been rescued from a home so cluttered some were able to hide for a week.
The RSPCA carried out a large-scale operation to recover all of the dogs after a police welfare check found the homeowner had died.
The bungalow in Rainham in Kent was at first thought to be home to six dogs, but it soon became apparent many more were spread across the property, where access to the rooms proved difficult because of the amount of cluttered possessions.
The terrier dogs ranging from four-week-old puppies to 10 years old may have been left to fend for themselves for some time before the discovery of their owner’s body on January 15.
The RSPCA had to clear the entire house and even set traps and set up cameras to catch and recover some of the more fearful dogs.
Animal rescue officer Brian Milligan said: “The last two puppies we found were caught using a cat trap, which proved a tricky process as the dogs were too light to set the traps off.
“All in all this was a difficult exercise, which saw the RSPCA deploy significant resources to clear the property and ensure we found all the dogs.
“We went to the house every day over a week to conduct extensive searches to rescue every dog – in the end we had to clear every room.”
RSPCA officers returned to the bungalow this week to ensure there were no more dogs present.
The rescued dogs are being cared for at several RSPCA animal centres and a small number are to be taken on by a local charity.
Some of the dogs have received medical treatment and all of them have been given thorough vet examinations to make sure they are fit to be rehomed.
During the investigation the RSPCA liaised with the relatives of the deceased owner, who had been unaware of the extent of the problems at the property.
Kent Police say they are not treating the death of the homeowner as suspicious.