Home / Help still needed after 65 dogs are rescued from Hendry County home

Help still needed after 65 dogs are rescued from Hendry County home

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

Nine dogs remain at a shelter needing a forever home after 65 dogs were rescued from horrific conditions in Hendry County.

Thirty-six of those dogs ended up at the Clewiston Animal Shelter, which did not have enough room for all of them.

There is still one dog roaming the house in Hendry County that the rest of the dogs were rescued from.

Animal service officers are trying to get that dog but say it’s been challenging. So much so that they have placed a trap outside the home to try and rescue the dog.

The Clewiston Police Department, which runs the animal shelter, said they would do periodic checks on the property to see if they could entice the dog.

Animal rescues from all over Florida are stepping in to help the 65 dogs rescued from the property.

“When they made us aware that there were 66 dogs on property, we were like, oh my God, this place is gonna stink,” said Ashley Miller, president of Mutty Paws Rescue.

Mutty Paws Rescue in Palm Beach County took in four of the dogs and is working to bring another one in.

“Two of the dogs have canine coronavirus, so they are not allowed out of our vet’s office. They have to be medically bored right now,” said Miller.

Miller said all the dogs have severe medical issues, but they are adjusting to being around people.

“We’ve taken in 16 dogs, and some cats were also on the property,” said Jason Gluck, executive director of Furry Friends Adoption in Jupiter, Florida. “This is one of the worst cases we’ve seen because there were dogs just scattered around the property, running, running loose, some of them chained, confined, no shelter, no food or water, there was garbage all over the place. It was an awful sight.”

Guardians of Florida Animal Rescue is another one of the rescue groups helping the 65 dogs.

“We ended up taking 16, eight adults, as well as a mom and her seven puppies that we think, are probably about three to four days old,” said Dana Bursch, co-founder of Guardians of Florida Animal Rescue.

Bursch said the dogs have a wide assortment of issues. “Everybody’s got fleas, ticks, parasites, all of that has to be dealt with. There are different dogs that have different issues.”

Police found the dogs in crates, homemade cages, chained up, with empty food bowls and no drinking water. Despite that, the dogs have a good demeanor.

“We’re really encouraged by that, we really feel like after getting them the appropriate vet care and socialization that we will be able to place them in loving homes, and they can start their new chapter,” said Bursch.

WINK News asked Ashley Miller, president of Mutty Paws Rescue, why someone would have this many animals in the first place.

“Some people want to keep the animals with them. They think the animals are safe with them. They think that they are providing for them. It’s kind of a mental illness, if you will,” Miller said.

Some dogs were in such bad shape that they had to be euthanized.

“We do appreciate everybody’s commitment, especially our rescue partners,” said Clewiston Police Commander Tito Nieves. “We’ve gotten countless calls, asking about the well-being of the dog acts and about how they can do the help. And it’s just been an outpour of support. Especially us being a small rural community, it’s quite gratifying to know that we have people out there that have our backs.”

As for the man who had all these animals on his property, he is not facing charges at this time, but the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office says this is an active investigation.