Owner defends care of his dogs

Posted at 6:55 AM, Jan 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-14 06:55:18-05

Animal enforcement officers cited an Apollo Beach man Wednesday after someone contacted them and expressed concern about the condition of his dogs.

Investigators with Hillsborough County Pet Resources continue to investigate this case. They have not released the name of the owner of the dogs nor the infractions. They said he was given 13 citations.

ABC Action News tracked down the owner of those dogs. He did not want to be identified. He said he keeps his dogs at his friend's home. He showed us the backyard and the cages. ABC Action News saw 6 dogs in the backyard and 4 in the back of his truck in cages.

"They're great (and) loving. (They're) great animals because they hog hunt. (It) doesn't mean that they are bad animals," the unidentified man said.

According to authorities, every dog (except one) had water and food accessible to them. Officials said the dogs stayed with their owner because they were not in imminent danger.

"These are the ones I was cited for," said the man. "They do not have a big enough house, which I agree. They do not have a big enough house. That's my fault."

He argued his dogs are in great shape and great health. He said he was only given one citation and not 13. The owner of the home was also cited.

"I have no clue why they would tell you that -that's now my business. They may have done that to get the heat of their back because of all these people can't mind their own business," he said.

TJ Fletcher was in the Apollo Beach neighborhood yesterday. He took pictures of the condition of the backyard. He spoke to the man, who identified himself as the owner of the property. Fletcher said it didn't look good.

"(I) noticed the backyard of the house, which is just completely full of dogs and cats and there's no water and not electricity at the house," Fletcher said.

Fletcher noticed two loose dogs in the neighborhood and was directed to that house. He said he was surprised by what the owner of the home told him.

"We have 2 dogs. We left them out hoping someone would save them 'cause we don't want them," Fletcher said.

Fletcher said that is why he wanted to check on the other dogs. He said one of the dogs he rescued is not healthy and he is afraid about the condition of the other dogs.

"I'd like to see someone come in and rescue them and actually save the dogs," Fletcher said.