Neighbor calls Pine Manor a "dumping ground" for abandoned animals

CREATED Feb. 12, 2014

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PINE MANOR, Fla. -- Lee County Domestic Animal Services has received more than 40 reports of abandoned animals in the last five weeks, and one Pine Manor woman claims her neighborhood is the epicenter for the crisis of unwanted animals. 

"It's kind of a drop-off neighborhood," said Paige, who didn't want her last name used.  

"Everyone seems to just dump their animals here."

Since April when she moved into her current home, Paige has turned in five casts and three abandoned dogs to Lee County Domestic Animal Services.

 She said she's seen more animals but hasn't been able to turn all of them in. 

"I think [people] feel that just because it's low income here, people can just dump them... they dump gargabe here, they can dump animals here," she said. 

Abandonments are happening all over Lee County, according to Lt. Tony Backhurst with Lee County Domestic Animal Services. 

"We really can't explain it, some people have moved out of their house and just left their animals behind, other people will just dump their animal off because they don't want it anymore," Backhurst said. 

In the first five weeks of 2014, Animal Services officers have responded to 160 calls for cruelty and neglect, 99 calls for sick and injured animals, and 46 calls regarding abandoned animals.  

Anyone who can no longer care for their pet should contact Lee County Domestic Animal Services at 239-LEE-PETS to find out what services are available to them.  

If you no longer want your animal, it is the pet owner's responsibilty to re-home the animal either at a rescue or by finding another owner.  

"We provide a 24/7 service and there's always someone that can be spoken to if you're in a desperate situation... there should never been a circumstance when someone takes an animal, whether its healthy or unhealthy and just dumps it to die," Backhurst said.