CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Clay County Animal Services on Tuesday confirmed more than 200 animals were rescued Monday from a 1-acre property on Old Jennings Road where, Sheriff Michelle Cook said, an investigation revealed deplorable conditions.
The new total, according to Animal Services, is 257 animals, which consist of dogs, rabbits, chickens, goats and pigeons. Four puppies were born overnight.
Also on Tuesday, Cook confirmed children were moved from the home and the Department of Children and Families is involved.
“There were children on the property. They have been moved to a safe location, and this whole situation is just devastating, everything that has happened, that has transpired there in the last couple of weeks, and we are just trying to be sensitive to the children because they are old enough to watch TV, so we really have been trying to be sensitive to them, but at the same time, understanding that the community is aware of this house on Old Jennings and they were going to be asking questions,” Cook told News4Jax. “The children are safe, and now we need to make sure we keep the animal safe and cared for.”
Community members are now donating items to help the rescued animals.
“If we can be assistance to these dogs and help find a good home, that would be perfect for us,” said Jacksonville resident Floid Stinson. “I think we bought about 300 pounds, plus three cases of cans, plus snacks for them.”
Since 10 a.m. Tuesday, people have been dropping off supplies at the Clay County Fairgrounds, where the animals are recovering.
“I’m just glad people are responding to this,” said Green Cove Springs resident Steve Loner. “It’s a good thing.”
Lisa Gibson also donated.
“Well, they need it. It’s a little overwhelming to have that many animals come in at once,” Gibson said. “I foster horses for a rescue group. I fostered dogs before, and all my animals are rescue, so it just needs to be done. They can’t handle that many animals at once.”
Clay County Emergency Management Director John Ward said the animals will need the public’s help for several weeks.
“You generally get a quick outpouring from the community and then it kind of dies off. This is not a sprint,” Ward said. “We are really looking for the long haul on this, and, so far, the community has been great as far as outreach.”
Donations can be dropped off at the Clay County Fairgrounds Exhibit Building 3 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Items needed include:
- Dry dog food
- Wet dog food cans
- Puppy milk replacement
- Pee pads/puppy pads
- Leashes and collars of various sizes
- Spray bottles
- Cleaning wipes
- Dog toys (no rope toys — Kong-type toys preferred)
- Dog shampoo
People can also visit an Amazon Urgent Needs Wish List to donate to Animal Services.
For more information about how to donate or volunteer, call 877-252-9362 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to help with the rescue effort.
In addition to local first responders, there are also veterinarians who have also traveled from Central Florida to help.