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LCSO Agriculture Unit caring for abused animals

Posted at 10:12 PM, Apr 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-26 22:26:29-04

Fox 4 got an inside look at the Lee County Sheriff's Office Agriculture Unit where 28 animals that were seized from a Lehigh Acres home are being cared for.

The Agriculture Unit rescues and cares for animals found dehydrated, starved, or abused.

"We have a crew of inmates that are assigned to our yard here. We teach them how to take care of animals, they feed them," Sergeant Randy Hodges, the Supervisor of the Agricultural Crimes Unit, said.

On April 13, the Lee County Sheriff's Office seized seven goats, 13 sheep, a donkey, and seven pigs from a home in Lehigh Acres.

"They were tied off with short leads, and none of those animals had any kind of access to any kind of water," Sergeant Hodges said.

The animals were found panting and distressed, so deputies arrested their owner, Dhaniram Sukhdeo, and seized all 28 animals.

Sukhdeo is only facing 27 counts of unlawful confinement of an animal because a baby goat, which the Sheriff's Office has named Gizmo, was the only one with access to water.

"We're their voice. If we're not there for them, they're not going to survive," Sergeant Hodges said.

Sergeant Hodges said if Sukhdeo puts up adequate pens, they'll be able to return them to their home and do random inspections to make sure they're being cared for.

Sukhdeo is also facing several fines in connection with this case.