Dozens of dogs found living in 'horrible' conditions in Spring Hill home

Owner says home no longer livable because of mess

SPRING HILL, Fla. - "It's just a situation where you've got too many dogs, suddenly pushed into a house and they just can't keep up with it," said Mike Shumate, Pasco Co. Animal Services Manager.

Animal services and code enforcement officers spent Monday morning going through a Spring Hill property on Montour Drive.

There had been concern from the sheriff's office that it was a case of animal hoarding.

And while officials say the conditions inside the home are horrible, they found the 50-plus dogs in good shape.

Animal control says the property is home to Sleepy Hollow Dog Rescue.

Owners had planned to relocate the animals to North Carolina, but that didn't work out.

"You can have as many as you want in North Carolina, as long as they are North Carolina animals, but you can't transport them in," said Shumate.

The rescue owners brought the dogs back here, and that's where the problem got out of control.

"Originally when they had rescued the animals, they had them all fostered out, so there weren't that many animals here on this property, but then they started collecting them all to take them to North Carolina, so when they came back, they had them all in the trailer, they brought them all back here and that's when all this broke," said Shumate.

Code Enforcement's report says the homeowner told them his daughter owned the all the dogs and the inside of the house had been destroyed by them, filled with feces and urine, making it no longer livable.

They were cited for animal neglect. They also violated a zoning rule for operating a kennel in a residential district.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay took 23 dogs yesterday and Pasco animal services has custody of the rest until a place is found for them.

The owner is described as overwhelmed and embarrassed. She also has horses, cats and two sugar gliders.

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