4 dogs dead, dozens found malnourished at Seminole County home; owner arrested

Brandon Blake, 40, accused of animal cruelty

A man arrested Monday in a domestic violence incident is facing new charges after investigators found more than two dozen malnourished dogs and four dead dogs at his home, according to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

SANFORD, Fla. – A man arrested Monday in a domestic violence incident is facing new charges after investigators found more than two dozen malnourished dogs and four dead dogs at his home, according to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

The arrest report of Brandon Blake, 40, states the incident Monday prompted a Seminole County Child Protective Services investigator to conduct a well-being check Tuesday at Blake’s residence on East 20th Street.

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The investigator reported they observed dogs kenneled both throughout and outside of the home in various states of poor health. Most of the kennels were absent of food and fresh water, but full of feces, deputies said.

Seminole detectives responded to the home as county animal services personnel worked to seize multiple dogs due to their inhumane living conditions, the report stated. A detective assisting animal services reported seeing four dead dogs in separate kennels, noting they estimated the canines had died several days to possibly a week beforehand.

“It looked like a puppy mill where he was breeding dogs,” Seminole County Emergency Manager Alan Harris said. “(He) cared absolutely nothing about the dogs whatsoever.”

A booking document shows the Blake owns a dog-training business called Brandon Blake K9 Services. According to the county, Blake’s license to operate the business has been pulled.

The sheriff’s office originally stated 26 dogs were seized from the property and four were found dead. According to Seminole County Animal Services, the county has now since seized 39 dogs from Blake’s residence, one of which later died at a shelter, bringing the total to five dead at the time of this report.

“A lot of them came in, and you could actually see the bones on the dog,” Harris said. “These dogs still have not been fully processed by the vet. There are a lot of medical records needed, and then we don’t even know how bad they are until we start treating them.”

The ongoing animal abuse case added nearly 40 dogs to the local shelter in one night. County officials said the shelter was already packed, and now the dogs seized in Sanford are straining the system.

“This breaks our hears. We are animals lovers,” Harris said. “This is the last thing we want to see before Thanksgiving.”

Up to 225 animals would be a comfortable number for the shelter, according to a county spokesperson. However, they are currently holding nearly 275.

“We literally have dogs everywhere,” Harris said. “We are utilizing every space we have.”

Dogs are now being kept in kennels and crates. Other enclosures that staff typically use for animals like goats, pigs and chickens are now also holding dogs.

“We are hoping that some of our rescue partners would kind of bail us out,” Harris said. “Even our largest one can only come get two dogs.”

Seminole County Animal Services is lowering adoption fees for dogs to $5. They plan to continue the discount in hopes that dogs will find their forever homes and get more space.

Blake now faces at least 26 counts of impounding or confining an animal without sufficient food or water, as well as at least four counts of animal abuse causing death; Blake has been granted a bond amount of $21,000 as related to these charges, booking records show.

Animal Services will be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving, though they will reopen during their regular office hours on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit their website here.


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Clarification:

Initial reporting from the Seminole County Sheriff's Office listed 26 dogs seized from and 4 found dead at the property. As the investigation continued, more dogs were found; updates to this story will reflect these changing figures.


About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.