55 dogs, toddler removed from house of horrors, bad stench reached street

By: Chelsea Todaro, Palm Beach Post

Updated:

Florida authorities removed 55 dogs and a 3-year-old boy from a home described as “deplorable” and “unsanitary.” 

It happened at a home in Ocala on Thursday, according to police.

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Officers were dispatched to the house on Wednesday after a  report of a bad odor coming from the location. 

They spoke to a woman at the residence, but she would not let the officers enter the house, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page.

When officials returned to the residence on Thursday, the woman told them she had 15 dogs and was preparing to take them to a kennel. 

Skeptical about the woman’s explanation, police called Marion County Animal Services and the city Code Enforcement. 

Code Enforcement officials said they saw urine dripping from underneath a side door, smelled a “strong odor” and heard many dogs barking. 

The woman allowed a district service officer to enter the home, and he said he noticed trash all over the floors and a strong smell of ammonia.

The officer’s investigation revealed that the woman ran a kennel for poodles, and the 55 dogs were brought to her house a few days before Hurricane Irma hit the state, the Star Banner reported

Many of the dogs were crowded into crates. They had matted hair and appeared sick, the officer told the Star Banner.

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Animal control officers removed and transported all the dogs to a center to be treated by a veterinarian. 

Police said the a family member picked up the young boy after the Florida Department of Children and Families determined the home was unsafe for him. 

Officials said they are still investigating, and so far no charges have been filed against the woman. 

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