Officials: Dog hoarder to be cited

36 dogs removed from uninhabitable home

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

HILLIARD, Fla. - The owner of a home where 36 dogs were removed will be cited with animal cruelty but likely won't face jail time.

The woman, whose name has not been released, could be fined $1,000. Officials say a formal citation will be issued Tuesday.

Most of the 36 dogs are here at a shelter.

They were found living in deplorable conditions, including soiled furniture, trash, junk and dog feces throughout the mobile home.

Most of the dogs were strays.

Inspectors said they had finally removed all of the dogs from the home, but for some, their fate is unknown.

"There are several that are going to have to go down, obviously, that are overly aggressive," said Joe Novello, director of Nassau County Animal Services. "We called all the rescue groups. We sent out a blast email to some assistance to see if they could come and take care of some of the animals, get them out in the world. They are scared and afraid of everything."

Investigators say the owner is working with them. She surrendered the animals, which is why officials say they're not filing state charges that could land her in jail.

Animal Services said the woman does not live in the trailer but would come and feed the dogs and bring in water from her home because there was no running water on site.

"She had a soft spot in her heart for animals that were stray, and she continued to bring them in," Novello said. "Finally got overwhelmed with them and got out of control. ... I don't think she knew it until we showed up and she said, 'Oh my God, what am I going to do?'"

Officials said the house is uninhabitable and the Health Department has been notified.

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