Rawlins police and animal control officers rescued 31 animals from a U-Haul trailer and motel room where they were found in "extremely unsanitary conditions" Saturday night.

In a statement Monday, the Rawlins Police Department said 28 dogs and puppies as well as three cats were taken to the Rochelle Animal Shelter to be evaluated by a veterinarian and rehabilitated while the investigation continues.

Officers were called to a Rawlins motel shortly before 9:15 p.m. Saturday after someone reported a U-Haul trailer full of dogs had been parked there for two days.

"Officers found dozens of animals in extremely unsanitary conditions with obvious signs of neglect along with several deceased dogs inside the U-Haul," the department said.

The owners of the animals had been traveling through Rawlins.

Police said further information about the investigation -- a collaboration between police and animal control officers -- would be released as it becomes available.

The animals are not currently up for adoption, since the investigation is ongoing. Should the animals be put up for adoption, police will notify the public as soon as possible.

"The Rawlins Animal Control Officers are among the most dedicated and compassionate group of people you will meet. What they do is not easy," the statement reads in part. "Taking on an additional 31 abused and neglected animals is a large undertaking for a small rural animal shelter with two employees."

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