COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- Animals services have recovered 51 dogs from a rural Collier County residence that they say were living in unsanitary and unsafe conditions.
According to county officials, on Sunday, Domestic Animal Services staff responded to a call reporting several dogs in poor condition at a home in the 19000 block of Immokalee Road.
"As far as the conditions of the dogs, it was one of the more severe cases that we've seen," said Field Operations Manager Dan Grossi.
The officer was shown several enclosures in the rear of the property by the owner, Leo Pantoja. Each enclosure housed multiple dogs in unsanitary and unsafe conditions. Many animals were found to have matted hair, untreated wounds and some were pregnant with immediate need of veterinary care.
Pantoja does not face any criminal charges, but he will have to pay the county $10,000 to help pay for rehabilitating the dogs.
"The dogs came into us in pretty poor shape, some of the dogs were so severely matted, they had a hard time walking," said Darcy Andrade, Collier County's Domestic Animal Services Director.
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office and DAS staff confiscated 53 dogs and brought them to DAS’s Naples shelter on Davis Boulevard in Naples to receive treatment.
Two of the animals that were personal dogs of the homeowner were returned, and DAS is now putting 42 of the dogs up for adoption while some of the remaining mothers and their nursing puppies went to the Gulf Coast Humane Society in Lee County.
Most of the dogs need additional care before they will be available for adoptions, including veterinary care, dental care, sterilization and grooming. DAS is seeking community support in the form of monetary donations to continue the care that these animals need. Donations can be made in person at the shelter located at 7610 Davis Boulevard., or by phone at (239) 252-7387.
Those interested in adopting the animals are encouraged to get preapproved for adoption. The adoption application can be filled out online or in person at the shelter. For questions about the adoption process, contact DAS at (239) 252-PETS (7387).