SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Seminole County Animal Services and the SPCA of Central Florida are asking for the public's assistance after 116 dogs were removed from an Altamonte Springs home on Thursday.
Seminole County Animal Services manager Morgan Woodward told Local 6 that 116 dogs were found inside the home.
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"I think this is the largest intake of dogs that we've ever done," said Woodward. "The process was enormous."
In fact, removing all the dogs and transporting them to the shelter took over eight hours. The smell was so bad inside the home, crews had to wear hazmat suits.
Woodward said most of the dogs appear fairly healthy and well fed, but at least one is about to deliver a litter of puppies, and several others could be pregnant.
They are mostly small breeds, including Chihuahuas, Maltese, Cocker Spaniels and possibly one standard Poodle. They range in age from five days to eight-years-old.
SCAS teamed up with veterinarians and other workers from the SPCA of Central Florida to process all the animals.
A temporary triage was set up to examine the dogs, bathe them and groom them.
"One of them came in, it was so terribly matted, you didn't know what it was," said SPCA Executive Director Kerri Burns. "An hour later, the Seminole County Animal Services staff had groomed it, brought it back around and it was unrecognizable. He was the most beautiful little Cocker (Spaniel) in the world."
The dogs are now being evaluated by veterinarians and will likely be placed up for adoption in the near future.
In the meantime, SCAS and SPCA are asking people to adopt other available animals to free up space at the shelter. They are also in need of food, blanket and cash donations.
The dogs' owner, an elderly blind man, called authorities this week, saying he just couldn't care for them anymore. His caretaker had passed away earlier this year and the dogs became overwhelming. His home had become so filthy, he was living in the garage. The building has since been condemned.
"It's a little bit sad, but knowing that we're getting the animals out of that environment and they're being well cared for at this point, that's what we're going to focus on from here on out," said Woodward.
Investigators said the owner will not be charged because the dogs were found alive and well fed. The man is staying with family members as health inspectors check out the home.
Once the dogs are approved for adoption, you can find them online at seminolecountypets.com.
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