The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation of animal hoarding at a Venice home.
Animal Services removed an estimated 263 small dogs over the past few days from the address. The dogs were kept in a series of chicken coop-like structures outdoors. The dogs are a variety of breeds, including chihuahuas, maltese, Bichon Frise, poodles, bouviers and schnauzers.
Deputies, who latter returned to seize the remaining animals, initially removed two-dozen of the dogs that were in poor medical condition. Most dogs have severely matted fur, fleas, intestinal parasites and eye issues.
All dogs need to be medically evaluated, treated and cleared before they will be available for adoption. Seventy dogs have been transferred to area rescues, and more will be moved today.
Criminal charges against the owner are pending.
According to a sheriff’s report, adoptions will begin Monday at the earliest. Interested citizens can download an application from www.sarasotasheriff.org and click Public Interest, then Animal Services.
A video of the home is available for download here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/scsomedia/Rescued+Dogs+5-4+HD.zip. The video contains very graphic content.
Contact Eddie Kirsch at [email protected].