MANATEE -- Honor Animal Rescue volunteer Doreen Quirk on Friday got her first look at a dozen dogs that were among 35 recently rescued by Manatee County Animal Services.
The dogs, most if not all of them purebred schnauzers, were all unclean and unkempt and many had serious medical conditions when they were picked up Thursday, said Joel Richmond, Enforcement Supervisor for Animal Services.
"Oh my God, they were filthy and matted to the skin," Quirk said of the purebred dogs Honor took to their location at 4951 Lorraine Road. "Their skin had infections. They were full of sores. You could see the ribs on them. It was deplorable."
An anonymous tip led Animal Services to a house on 53rd Avenue Drive East filled with neglected dogs, Richmond said.
"When we sent an officer to the house, he could hear many dogs barking and he could smell a foul odor," Richmond said Friday.
"The 35 dogs were living in unhealthy conditions and were unclean and unkempt," Richmond added. "A few were in very bad health."
The 35 dogs were all dispensed to area rescue organizations,
The dogs that Honor took all face a long road to recovery with their first stops at a foster home, Quirk said.
"The dogs seem very sweet but in need of a lot of medical help," Quirk said. "A lot of them are showing a very nice attitude toward our volunteers who came in for them on Friday."
The owner of the dogs, said to be a woman in her 50s who apparently lived alone with the animals, agreed to voluntarily surrender the dogs, Richmond said.
She was interviewed at her home by two Animal Services officers and a deputy with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, Richmond said.
"Law enforcement convinced her it was in the best interest of the animals to let them go," Richmond said.
"Without going into much detail, her mental capacity is under review. As of now the sheriff's office has declined to charge her, but the case is ongoing."
Richmond said hisagency often sees cases like this where the number of dogs someone has getsout of hand, either because the person continues tocollect more animals than they can care for or thedon't get them spayed and neutered and the animals breed.
"It is fairly common with these kinds of boarding cases," Richmond said. "We had no record that she had adopted any of these dogs from Manatee County. Typically, the stock grows out of control."
Dari Oglesby, a supervisor at Honor Animal Rescue, said all the schnauzers her agency took in have serious medical issues including heart murmurs, anemia, blindness, emaciation and hair wrapped around their teeth.
"Right now we're justtrying to get food and vitamins in them," Oglesbysaid. "It will be a longroad to recovery for these guys."
Pictures of the dogs can be seen on the Honor Animal Rescue Facebookpage or on the organization's website, www.honoranimalrescue.org.