Local authorities served a search and seizure warrant on a five-acre property consisting of multiple structures including a dilapidated mobile home and several campers at approximately 8:00a.m. yesterday morning. The dogs appeared to suffer from a lack of basic care and were living in filthy, poor conditions typically seen in severe neglect situations. The animals were primarily found living outside, contained in hutches which were caked in feces and leaking in the rain, some with no apparent access to food and water. The majority of the dogs were suffering from skin conditions characterized by missing fur, sores and itchy skin.
The HSUS is transporting the rescued animals to an undisclosed shelter where they will continue to receive veterinary exams. RedRover responders will be assisting in the caretaking of the animals at the shelter.
“This is a tragic scene– it is intensely sad to see these dogs suffering in obvious misery and pain,” said Laura Koivula, Deputy Manager of Animal Crimes for HSUS in a statement emailed to WAN. “We are thankful to all of the agencies involved today for working through the rain to get these dogs desperately-needed help.”
The assistance of the HSUS was requested by the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office after concerns about the welfare of animals on the property were raised.
“In my nearly 20 years as sheriff, I have never seen conditions of this magnitude,” said Dewey Hatcher, Sheriff of Dixie County. “We appreciate the assistance from the HSUS and everyone involved in getting these animals care today.”
All but three of the approximately 140 dogs rescued from the property were surrendered to the HSUS. The three who were not surrendered will be expertly cared for, along with the surrendered dogs as the court process decides their eventual custody.