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.

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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