Neighbors breathe sigh of relief after massive dog seizure

Over 83 dogs taken from warehouse on Commonwealth Ave.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thursday morning, Animal Care and Protective Services took nearly 100 dogs out of a warehouse located on Commonwealth Avenue.

Susan Esdale, the woman renting the warehouse, told Animal Care she was running a rescue organization and had the best intentions.

But as complaints about the warehouse rose, so did the odor coming from inside.

Lonnie Deets said he and his son can breathe a little easier now after ACPS seized what he said was a big and unsafe problem in his neighborhood.

"It was horrible, just a bad stench. Odor everywhere," Deets said. "You could hear them. And they would let them out in the afternoon in a little field and fenced-in area."

Deets isn't just talking about one or two dogs, he's referring to 83, all housed in the warehouse Esdale has been renting since December of 2013.

Esdale said she and her husband moved down from Chicago and have rescued and replaced more than 2,700 dogs in the last nine years but admitted she never found the time to secure a license to house so many dogs.

Aside from the noise and the smell, neighbors also said the dogs made them feel unsafe.

"We got little children all around here. The pit bulls, they would just charge at the fence and it was real scary because we were always concerned that if they got out they were going to attack us or something," Deets said

Elisha Dees is another neighbor who, like Deets, was scared for her safety.

"We were going down to the pond one time and those dogs were barking at us. They were crawling on the fence, they were digging down and trying to get through the fence," Dees said.

The owner of the warehouse said he knew Esdale had a few dogs, but not 83.

Now that the dogs are gone, neighbors are relieved they won't have to deal with the noise, foul smells and fears over their safety.

ARTICLE: City asks for help after seizing 83 dogs