Close to 140 dogs were rescued from a severe neglect situation Tuesday after concerns were raised about the welfare of a group of canines living on a large property in Florida.
The Dixie County Sheriff’s Office enlisted the help of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to search a five-acre property in Dixie County, Florida, at which they found multiple run-down mobile homes and campers and over one hundred neglected animals, according to an HSUS press release.
Authorities arrived at the property around 8 a.m. and found dozens of dogs suffering from lack of basic care, inadequate access to food and water, and poor living conditions.
“In my nearly 20 years as sheriff, I have never seen conditions of this magnitude,” Dewey Hatcher, the sheriff of Dixie County, said in a statement.
Many of the dogs were found living outside in hutches, surrounded by their own feces, with no access to shelter from inclement weather. The animals also suffered from various skin conditions including missing fur, sores, and itchy skin.
“Our team worked through pouring rain and late into the night rescuing these animals from heartbreaking, really grim conditions,” Laura Koivula, deputy manager of animal crimes for the HSUS, said. “Yesterday is the last day those dogs are going to have to live like that.”
She added: “This is a tragic scene — it is intensely sad to see these dogs suffering in obvious misery and pain. We are thankful to all of the agencies involved today for working through the rain to get these dogs desperately-needed help.”
After the rescue, the Humane Society transported the dogs to a safe and dry shelter to receive veterinary exams and any necessary treatment. Only three of the dogs were not surrendered to the HSUS, however, they are being cared for until the court decides their eventual custody.
While the animals still need time to fully recover, responders from the HSUS reported that many of the dogs are eager for a new life of attention and love.