Tip about animal abuse in Citrus County leads to arrests, 36 dogs seized

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. - Thirty-six dogs were seized from an Inverness home on Saturday, June 17 after Crime Stoppers received a tip regarding animal abuse. 

Ryan McLean and Deana Feldman were both arrested on one count of felony animal cruelty and 27 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty with a total bond of $32,000 each. 

"There was no clean environment. They were not groomed. They were not bathed. They were extremely infested with fleas," Lora Peckham, the supervisor of the Citrus County Animal Control Unit, said. "This tip ultimately turned out to be one of the most horrific cases we've worked. A total of 36 dogs were seized and and a huge amount of teamwork ensued to make sure the dogs were cared for properly."

When deputies arrived on scene they found the dogs living among piles of their own feces. One of the dogs was in very bad condition and was transported to Countryside Vet Clinic for emergency medical care. Almost all of the dogs had some kind of medical neglect that needed to be addressed. 

"To not have money for a vet is one thing, but there's no excuse for not giving your pet a clean place to lay," Peckham said. “There were dogs with more than a quarter pound of feces caked onto their little bodies and these are 4 pound to 6 pound dogs."

Officials are hopeful all dogs will survive. 

According to Peckham most of the dogs were used for breeding. She said the owners did not appear remorseful. The owners have not surrendered the dogs. Peckham said the county has 10 days to file a petition for custody.

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