CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Clay County officials and volunteers have been working to get nearly 300 animals ready for adoption.
The animals were rescued from a Clay County property where they were living in inhumane conditions.
On Friday, New4Jax got its first look at the animals since they were removed. The animals are being housed at the Clay County Fairgrounds, and it will be at least a month before they can go to forever homes.
“Even though they came from such a rough, bad situation, most of them were in pretty good spirits once we were able to get them out of their carriers, start interacting with them,” said Morgan Grove, volunteer coordinator for Clay County’s Board of County Commissioners.
Dogs, rabbits, pigs, chickens and goats were recovered earlier this month from the property on Old Jennings Road. Barnyard animals roamed freely, while small dogs were kept in dirty kennels — some of them without food or water.
“A lot, you know, covered in feces and urine needed bathing immediately. A lot of the long-haired dogs had very severe matting that we needed to address, overgrown toenails,” Grove said.
Most of the animals looked clean and healthy on Friday.
At their former home, investigators found rat droppings, maggots, and even skeletal remains. A veterinarian discussed in court what they found.
“Water, very, very green, very, very algae contaminated, more rat pellets involved,” the veterinarian said. “Mama dog has a deceased puppy in that box.”
According to Clay County officials, two dogs nursing were recovered. Four more have given birth since being rescued, and as many as ten more may also be expecting.
“It does appear that there was breeding going on,” Grove said.
The county took possession of the animals and has spent $70,000 of taxpayer money to save the animals and prepare them for new homes. So far, no criminal charges have been filed.
The dogs still need to be spayed and neutered, with some also needing emergency dental work, so it’s going to be at least a month before they’re ready for adoption.