No charges after 116 dogs found in Altamonte Springs home

Owner was legally blind, forced into garage

Author: Sheli Muniz, Reporter, smuniz@wkmg.com
Published On: Aug 01 2013 11:52:20 AM EDT   Updated On: Aug 01 2013 08:33:19 PM EDT
hoarding animals
ALTAMONE SPRINGS, Fla. -

116 dogs found in home Authorities are investigating after 116 dogs were found living inside an Altamonte Springs home. The elderly man, who is legally blind, was so overwhelmed, he had to live in the garage.

Neighbors said they barely knew the elderly blind man who lived there, and they definitely didn't know he was living in what turned out to be a giant doghouse.

Inside the home, Seminole County Animal Services found 116 dogs in the three rooms, kitchen and hallways. Altamonte Springs Police said they were found crawling all over each other, reproducing.

Kaysha Alvarez said, "Me and my brother come running here all the time. We've never smelt anything, never seen him at all."

Police said the man will likely not be charged because there were no violations. In Altamonte Springs there are no rules on the amount of dogs in a home, and the mixed breeds were found healthy and well fed.

The man voluntarily surrendered the dogs and there were no signs of abuse. Authorities said there was food and water in the home so no dogs were malnourished.

Neighbor, Chris Infante, said, "It's ridiculous. Who could have that many dogs? He just let them go wild, let them reproduce. I don't know what he did there, but I've never seen him walk a dog, so that's why it's so shocking."

Seminole County Animal Services said they got to the home off Castille Drive after the owner called several days ago saying he had to give up the dogs because he was so overwhelmed. Once inside, animal rescue teams had to wear hazmat suits, describing the smell as unbearable.

The owner of the home is staying with family members as health inspectors check out the home. Police say the man's caregiver recently died.

Animal Services said the dogs will be taken to Seminole County Animal Services and then will be put in foster homes before putting them up for adoption.

Police believe the man may also have been living in the garage because it was a small space, so the legally blind man could navigate easily.

The man is staying with family members as health inspectors check out the home. The home has not been condemned.