Animal services at the door of woman living off the grid

CREATED Dec 18, 2013

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A Cape Coral woman who lives off the grid is now on the radar of animal control as well.

We've been telling you about Robin Speronis and her off-the-grid lifestyle for a month now and how city code enforcement tagged her home with a notice to vacate just one day after our special report aired. 

Robin Speronis has two dogs, her faithful companions in her quest to live off the grid.  But she says animal services is also hounding her since going public, visiting her home six times in the month since our first story about her lifestyle aired. 

Our cameras caught this scene unfolding as we rolled up to Robin's home Tuesday, Lee County Animal Services and Cape Coral Police out front.

"They say that they're here to check on the condition of the dogs," Robin tells us. "All of this activity, which animal services has been here several times, and pounding on the door and shining lights on the window... it terrorizes them. they're not OK with that, and I don't want to expose them to any more of that. And so she asked me if she could see the dogs, and I said absolutely not."

City code enforcement filed a complaint with animal services the day it found out about Robin's lifestyle and tagged her home with a notice to vacate.

"We found that one of the dogs looks like it's suffering from mange. So basically we just need to be able to look at the animals," explains Glen Johnson, Operations Manager for LCDAS.
But Robin tells 4 In Your Corner she feels animal control is intruding on her rights as a dog owner just as the city is intruding on her rights as a homeowner. 

"There aren't  two dogs in the this world that are better loved or better cared for then these two dogs," Robin assures.

She did allow allow our cameras to shoot video of the dogs from afar, a large-breed mix named Faith and a chihuahua named Suzie. Faith is an old girl and appears to have trouble walking and some sort of skin condition.

We had an independent vet look at the video, who says the dogs appear to be well cared for and well fed, but that's not good enough for animal control.

"We will continue to respond," says Johnson.
"So you will not stop?" asks4 In Your Corners Liza Fernandez.
"Not til I decide it's time to," answers Johnson.

In all fairness, animal control tells 4 In Your Corner it's charged with looking out for the interests of the voiceless -- the thousands of dogs and cats in Lee County. And the independent veterinarian has offered to examine the dogs and give her opinion on the condition of the dogs to animal services. 

4 In Your Corner is continuing to follow this story and will bring you the latest information as we get it.