Woman arrested after Animal Control Officers find 2 blind dogs covered in live maggots, feces

Posted at 12:54 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 12:54:59-04

Citrus County Sheriffs deputies arrested a Crystal River woman on Wednesday after they found two blind dogs covered in maggots, feces and urine.

On Wednesday, CCSO deputies arrested Joi Richheimer, 45, for two counts of felony animal cruelty.

On Sunday evening, Animal Control Officers seized three dogs, "two of which were in very, very horrific condition," Citrus County Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook.

A blind, 9 pound Shih Tzu was found in the middle of the road wandering a neighborhood. A good Samaritan held the dog to keep it safe and waited for Animal Control Officers to arrive.

"She was severely underweight but she also had mats and dreadlocks caked and encrusted with feces and urine hanging from 95% of her body that, when shaved off by the vet, weighed 3 lbs AND HAD MAGGOTS LIVING UNDER THE MATTED FUR. The vet and her staff said they’ve never seen any case this bad. They even dug a piece of 5” wire out of one of the dreadlocks," Citrus County Sheriff's Office wrote in their post.

The Animal Control Officers that responded went around knocking on door to door until they eventually found a neighbor that recognized the dog and showed them where it lived. When they got to the owners' house, no one was home.

Two additional dogs were found in the back yard. One of those dogs was paralyzed in her back end, unable to stand or walk. That dog was also badly matted and blind. The third dog only showed minor signs of neglect but Animal Control Officers later learned that the third dog hadn’t been there nearly as long as the other two.

Vets are working on both dogs to improve their conditions.

Richheimer was taken to jail and placed under a $4,000 bond.