BROOKSVILLE, Florida -- UPDATE: The 60+ puppies found abandoned in Brooksville will soon be up for adoption. Applications are being taken, but the Hernando County Animal Control says they have been inundated with hundreds.
Applicants are still not being allowed to see the dogs yet, but applications can still be made by visiting, calling or faxing the Hernando County Animal Shelter.
Some of these puppies do have medical issues that whoever adopt them will be obligated to take care of.
Hernando County Animal Control
19450 Oliver Street
Brooksville, Florida 34601
Phone: (352) 796-5062
Fax: (352) 796-3746
Visiting Hours (Office & Kennel):
Monday 10:30am - 5:30 pm
Tuesday - Friday - 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
9:30 am on Monday and 8:30 am Tuesday - Friday
CLOSED: Weekends & Holidays
11/18/2010 Story: "I haven't see anything like that in the time that I've been working in this field," says Hernando Animal Control Director Patrick Pace.
It was -- and is -- a heartbreaking sight.
In Hernando County, investigators are trying to figure out who intentionally dumped more than 60 dogs, all of them Shih Tzus. They were left in a rural neighborhood in Brooksville off State Road 50 early this morning.
Photo Gallery: Dozens of neglected dogs found abandoned
For deputies, it was incredibly sad.
"Little dogs just running around," says Sgt. Donna Black, "It was just surreal to them."
The dogs, ranging in age from puppies to fully grown, were infested with fleas and covered in their own waste. They were rounded up by deputies and brought to animal control.
Kimberly Ward, who made the call to police says she heard yelping outside her window at around 2:30 a.m.
"I asked the officer, I said, 'Am I dreaming? Is this a nightmare?' He said, 'No, this is real.'"
"Throughout the day, animal control officers were patrolling the neighborhood, looking for the little dogs, trying to make sure none were left behind. At this point their best guess is that they were dumped here by somebody who ran into financial troubles.
"A breeder that took on more than they could handle and with the bad economic times they lost control of the situation," says Pace.
The dogs, they say, appear to be nourished, but many have lesions and are badly matted. They also need to be treated for skin infections and flea bites. The animals were so dirty, officials originally thought the Shih Tzus were a different breed, Lhasa Apso.
But authorities believe most, if not all, will be adoptable.
For now, they just want to know who did this, and are offering a one thousand dollar reward through Hernando County Crimestoppers to find out.
"Somebody's responsible for this, and somebody needs to be brought to justice," said Black.
Deputies say they'll continue to patrol the neighborhood looking for any additional animals. At last count, 62 Shih Tzus had been found and were being treated.
There's no word on when they'll be ready for adoption.
If you have any information on this case, call Crimestoppers at 1-866-990-TIPS or email a tip by clicking on www.hernandosheriff.org. You can remain anonymous.
Eric Glasser, 10 News