LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – Four neglected dogs, two of which had recently been adopted from a shelter, were removed from a hotel room where they had no access to food or water and were surrounded by urine and piles of feces, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
Records show the owner of Best Value Inn in Leesburg called authorities on Dec. 10, 2020 because the dogs in the unit were always barking and the unit smelled strongly of urine.
The animal control officer who responded couldn’t go inside without a warrant so the owner opened up the door so he could see inside and immediately the officer was met with a urine smell that was so strong he had to go get a mask from his vehicle, according to the report.
While standing outside the unit, the officer counted 20 piles of dog feces and noticed the entirety of the tile floor was covered in urine, officials said. As the door was open, an emaciated boxer-type dog named Franklin ran outside, records show.
The officer said Franklin’s hip and rib bones were visible and he had obvious signs of muscle wasting.
As the officer was on scene, Amber Perez arrived at the unit and began acting angrily toward the hotel owner and told the animal control officer, “Shut the (expletive) up” and, “I’m not going to talk to you,” according to the report.
Perez claimed the dogs were being cared for and there was nothing wrong with their living conditions.
In total, four dogs were removed from the unit: Franklin; a hound dog named Diesel that had issues walking due to his extremely overgrown nails, had puss coming from his eyes and had legs that were soaked and stained with urine and feces; plus two Chihuahua-type puppies, records show.
As the dogs were being removed, the woman’s boyfriend, Jonathan Love, arrived at the unit and demanded an explanation, claiming that the dogs were fine and even if authorities took the animals he would just get more the next day, the report said.
The dogs were taken to the Lake County Animal Services shelter and staff recognized Franklin and Diesel because Perez had previously adopted them from there.
She took Franklin home on Nov. 6, 2020 and he weighed 57 pounds at that time and when he was returned back to the shelter about a month later, he weighed 46 pounds.
Perez had adopted Diesel multiple times because he kept getting impounded. During the most recent time, he weighed 84 pounds. When he returned about three weeks later he had lost 4 pounds, records show.
The puppies each weighed 3 pounds and were believed to be 10 weeks old. According to the report, they were lethargic, appeared malnourished, their bones were visible and had nails that were overgrown and had light pink gums.
Love and Perez were Thursday on four counts of animal cruelty.
The arresting deputy wrote in his report he “strongly recommend that Ms. Perez and Mr. Love be prohibited from owning any animals in the future, and to be placed on a “Do Not Adopt” list.”
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