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Approximately 140 Dogs Rescued in Large-Scale Alleged Neglect Situation in Dixie County, Florida

Approximately 140 Dogs Rescued in Large-Scale Alleged Neglect Situation in Dixie County, Florida
The Humane Society of the United States assists the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office with a large-scale alleged severe neglect case of approximately 140 dogs on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, near Old Town, Fla. (Photo by Meredith Lee/The HSUS)
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Feb. 25, 2020The Humane Society of the United States is assisting the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office in rescuing approximately 140 dogs in a large-scale alleged severe neglect situation on a residential property in Dixie County, Florida.

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 a.m. 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 Humane Society of the United States is transporting the rescued animals to an undisclosed shelter location where they will continue to receive veterinary exams. RedRover responders will be assisting in the caretaking of the animals at the shelter location.

“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 the Humane Society of the United States. “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 Humane Society of the United States 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 Humane Society of the United States 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 Humane Society of the United States. The three who were not surrendered will be expertly cared for along with the surrendered dogs as the court process decides their eventual custody.

A generous donation has been made by the Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust to help support the expert care and supplies needed for the rescued animals. The Humane Society of the United States thanks our long-time partner, GreaterGood.org, for donations of food for the dogs.

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