SEBRING, FLA.- Animal caregivers with the Humane Society of Highlands County said they have rescued more than 120 dogs since January.
The shelter is seeing an overwhelming amount of neglected animals.
On Wednesday, the Humane Society rescued a female dog and her three puppies. They believe the dog, Stella, was a stray and her puppies were malnourished.
"We took her in and she wouldn’t even eat the first night. She wouldn’t touch food. She wouldn’t do anything. She was so frantic trying to watch out for her puppies," said Judy Spiegel, President of the Humane Society of Highlands County.
Spiegel said they were unable to save the puppies, but Stella is growing stronger.
"She is not used to any attention from anybody. I think she’s probably been on her own for quite a while. It takes a long time to get that skinny," said Spiegel.
Spiegel said they also rescued 10 Chihuahuas this week. Animal caregivers said the dogs were filthy and flea-infested. The dogs are now in the care of Humane Society Naples, a non-profit, no-kill shelter.
"It is so sad. We see so much of it, so many abandoned animals. They just pitch them out and they just leave them," said Spiegel.
The Humane Society has also rescued a dog named Wilson. He needs a home with owners who will give him additional care. Wilson was born with a megaesophagus which is an enlargement of the esophagus.
Spiegel said her heart breaks for the animals they were unable to save, but it mends with each animal that gets strong each day.
"It's rewarding to see them come in with no fur and grow out into this beautiful coat and become the dog we hope they’ll be," she added.
The Humane Society is looking for a full-time veterinarian to care for the animals. Spiegel hopes people would then seek affordable pet care at the humane society instead of dumping or neglecting their animals.