WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) — Police seized 78 French and English bulldogs from what authorities say was an apparent puppy mill operating in Westminster.

KNBC-TV reports that police sent the pups into the care of Westminster Adoption Group Services and have opened a criminal investigation into the owner of the dogs.

Westminster police say a neighbor contacted authorities last week, and officers found the dogs in poor condition. Some of the dogs are believed to have been caged for days at a time.

Police Commander Cameron Knauaerhaze says the smell at the residence "was so disgusting and unsanitary that some of our officers actually got sick to their stomach and had to leave the property."

People began applying to adopt the dogs on Tuesday after the adoption group says they had about 5,000 inquiries.

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Information from: KNBC-TV, http://www.nbc4.tv/