The conditions in a Lehigh Acres home were so bad that a 16-year-old called the authorities for a welfare check on himself.
At the home, Lee County deputies found urine-soaked floorboards and a buildup of feces at the home the teen shared with 13 dogs.
The teen told authorities he resorted to using a respirator to breathe inside the home.
After Hurricane Ian hit Southwest Florida, the teen said he had to move his bed into the living room for better air quality.
WINK News is not naming the teen’s mother because she is not facing charges at this time. However, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office seized all the dogs from the home.
The woman to whom they belong is listed as a board member of the nonprofit rescue Cat Tails and More.
WINK News reached out to the organization to see if they were aware of her living conditions.
In a statement, they said she had no authority to intake any animals without the authorization of board members and she has not had any meaningful contact with the organization for at least eight months.
According to Cat Tails and More, none of the dogs that were found in the home had any ties to the organization.
The teen told authorities he and the dogs have lived in those conditions for years. And the dirtiness of the home had introduced mice. The teen told deputies one had bitten him.
He also said his mother often left him alone on weekends to clean the home but it became too much for him to do on his own.
Alfredo Abad lives across the street and never suspected any of this.
“If I would’ve known, I would’ve helped the child and the dogs, both of them,” Abad said. “If you’re gonna have some dog you gotta take care of them. If you’re gonna have ’em like that I don’t know, that’s terrible.”
Abad said if he was in that position he would give the dogs to someone who can better care for them.
“I think she’s not a clean person because if she let the dog do that she’s not a real clean person,” Abad said.