UPDATE: Animal Services Pulls 263 Dogs In Hoarding Case

Rescue groups are trying to find foster homes for some of the 263 animals.

Updated May 5 3:14 p.m.

All dogs have been placed at the following agencies and those interested in adopting a dog, when the dogs are ready to be adopted, should ccontact, starting Monday at:

Almost Home,

Florida Little Dog Rescue,

Honor Sanctuary,

Canine Castaways,

Safe Haven,

Suncoast Humane Society,

Underdog Rescue,

Florida Poodle Rescue,

VIP Rescue,

Kickapoo Rescue,

Certified Preowned Dogs,

• and

• .

The Gulf Coast Community Foundation has also launched an online donation campaign to help pay those animal shelters cost for treating and housing the rescued dogs.

Through the Gulf Coast Gives website, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation will match donations up to a total of $21,900 to distribute to those shelters for a combined $43,800 donation. So far, $975 has been rasied.

Learn more about how to donate: Gulf Coast Gives.

Earlier: This version contains a revised number of confiscated dogs from the Sheriff's Office.

Area animal rescue groups are looking for folks to house and foster some of the 263 animals being pulled from a Venice home in an animal hoarding case that could possibly be the biggest in the county's history.

Sarasota County Animal Services, 8451 Bee Ridge Road, is in the process of transporting more than 100 dogs and puppies to Animal Services Friday alone. For the last two days, Animal Services have pulled out dog after dog in chicken coops and have weighed, examined and catalogued them, said Wendy Rose, spokeswoman for the

"We will do everything in the best interest for these animals," Rose said.

The breeds are wide ranging including Chihuahuas, Maltese, Bichon Frise, Poodles, Bouviers and Schnauzers.

They are being removed from a Venice home during an investigation of animal hoarding, and the number of animals rescued could increase, Rose said.

Many of the animals are not in very good condition, Rose said.

Matted hair, open soars, fleas, worms, parasites and all sorts of medical complications affect these dogs, said Lt. Scott Ortner, head of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Animal Division. While this has been perhaps the largest case of pet hoarding, Ortner said he has seen animals in worse condition in other cases.

"It's more neglect than abuse," Ortner said about the Venice case.

The suspect in this case has yet to be charged, Ortner said. Detectives believe the suspect was a breeder but when the economy tanked, things got out of hand at the five-acre property at 220 High Point Drive in Venice, he said. The husband of the breeder has been cooperative in this case, he added.

The suspect also has exotic birds, but she will be allowed to keep those if she comes into compliance from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Ortner said.

Arcadia's Canine Castaways is posting Facebook updates and is looking for donations to help pay for the care of these pets. Their medical team is starting to treat the animals today. 

"Some have issues with their feet due to the wire in the small cages they were kept in," the group posted.

Animal rescue groups from all over the state, from Orlando to Pinellas County and beyond, are helping to shelter and take care of the animals. Here's a list of groups helping so far:

• ,

• Disaster Animal Response Team,

• Sarasota In Defense of Animals,

• Almost Home,

• Florida Little Dog Rescue,

• Honor Sanctuary,

• ,

• Safe Haven,

• Suncoast Humane Society,

• Underdog Rescue,

• Florida Poodle Rescue,

• VIP Rescue,

• Kickapoo Rescue,

• , and

• .

"Obviously this is a very difficult and time-consuming process, since all the animals need to be medically evaluated, treated and/or cleared.  Space to house the animals is another major issue," Rose said. "We are incredibly grateful to the area animal rescue groups that are assisting us with housing and fostering some of these animals."

Adoptions and fosters will not be considered until Monday, Rose said because of the initial work involved to get as much information about the dogs and their conditions. Applications are available online and Rose stresses for folks to avoid calling Animal Services.

Cindy Hewitt May 04, 2012 at 06:49 PM
i am concerned about what the Sarasota County Animal services will actually do with these animals. I hope that reputable shelters will take thse animals because they are in danger of being killed if the stay in the Sarasota County shelter.
Charles Schelle (Editor) May 04, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Comments posted on the Sarasota Patch Facebook fan page: "This is so sad. I know Kickapoo Rescue in Sarasota is helping and many of my other rescue friends. The pictures of some of those poor dogs is heartbreaking." — Chris Mucklow Meyer "Sad." — Zak Kirlis
Kathy sasher May 04, 2012 at 09:13 PM
High point road is not in the Venice Acres community Please recheck you rfacts before reporting this.
Lora May 04, 2012 at 09:14 PM
If someone buys my villa (no big dogs), I will buy a cheap house and take the bouvier! Had one for 14 years and miss her still today. Make me an offer -- I only need 80,000 for the house and I'll sell you the villa for 55!
Charles Schelle (Editor) May 04, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Thanks -- that detail was supplied by the Sheriff's Office and has been corrected.
Laura L Everts May 04, 2012 at 09:38 PM
My husband bought me a labradoodle from this breeder for christmas ....she was almost 6mos old and had virtually no vet care. We battled parasites until April, hookworms, tapeworms, giarrdia.....finally got a clean stool last month! She is a beautiful, sweet and loving dog! I am so glad that we have her and that she didn't end up living in a wire cage! I did not realize when we brought her home that she had soooo many animals! I am sorry that I could not have helped those poor puppies earlier! I hope that they all find wonderful homes...they so deserve to be loved and cared for.
Lucy Carlson May 04, 2012 at 09:57 PM
What is wrong with people that do this? They can't take care of the dogs sufficiently, it would be impossible, so in the end they hurt the dogs more than they help them. And why isn't anyone charged with animal cruelty? I don't get it.
VK9 May 04, 2012 at 10:42 PM
It's the people who buy the puppies without checking the premises and the other dogs kept in the home. If the person selling won't allow this, THEN WALK AWAY. Report what you see/hear to the nearest animal agency and don't ever say I Didn't Know. And never ever buy from a pet store that sells puppies either. Period
Rose Eagar May 05, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I agree never buy from a pet shop and if you must buy from a breeder make sure you get all health records. Support spay bills and support the Sarasota initiative to become a no kill city...so vote.
Bunny Garst May 05, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Bunny Garst I would like to adopt a rescued toy poodle puppy from the confiscated dogs in Venice but I don't know which agency to contact. The Sarasota County Sheriff's Department of Animal Services said that the dogs were farmed out to several rescue services. If anyone knows which shelters have any of the toy poodle puppies, would you please reply to this comment. I'm not doing too well trying to find them myself.
Charles Schelle (Editor) May 05, 2012 at 07:14 PM
The following shelters can be contacted about adopting these dogs. They all have been placed at one of these agencies in Florida: Almost Home, Florida Little Dog Rescue, Honor Sanctuary, Canine Castaways, Safe Haven, Suncoast Humane Society, Underdog Rescue, Florida Poodle Rescue, VIP Rescue, Kickapoo Rescue, Certified Preowned Dogs, Bay Road Animal Hospital and Ashton Animal Clinic.
Dorothy Martin May 07, 2012 at 01:26 AM
I am interested in adopting 2 toy poodles or other tiny breeds from the rescued dogs in Venice. MY husband and I are retired and can provide full time love for these puppies.
JM May 08, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Cindy- I daresay that wherever these dogs end up is better than the chicken coops they were in! How about commending the HARD WORK of all the animal services folks for SAVING these poor creatures?! A thank you would be nice, I'm sure! And, for the record, unless the dog has a terminal illness, or a serious behavior problem, they are NOT so quick to euthanize. It takes quite awhile... And, this is the #1 reason why you should NOT EVER, EVER buy a dog from any breeder. (And I don't care how "expert" they are, or say they are. Fact of the matter is, it doesn't take rocket science to put two intact dogs together and watch them go at it.) You're not "saving" a dog from a breeder, you're enabling/encouraging them to breed even more! ugh! /end rant.
JM May 08, 2012 at 04:07 AM
*I should amend my statement... The SCSO and all the others out there don't champion euthanizing animals. That's the hardest, most gut-wrenching part of their job. Please don't criticize.
TheJunkPros May 17, 2012 at 05:18 AM
Good article. that's great you are giving strong shelter to these animals
William Oser July 25, 2012 at 10:37 PM
For the story of one of these dogs go to Ruffcuts.biz in a few days. We are in the process of posting the story of a small Labradoodle, and it has a happy ending as do many many of these stories. I am well acquainted with many of these Rescue Groups and they do phenominal work, so these dogs will be rehabilitated when possible and homed. William S. Oser Certified Dog Groomer--Bradenton Fl


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