The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is investigating a case of animal hoarding at a home in Venice Acres, according to a news release.
Sarasota Animal Services removed an estimated 263 small dogs over the past few days from 220 High Point Drive, Venice. The animals were kept in a series of chicken coop-like structures outdoors. The dogs are a variety of breeds, including Chihuahuas, Maltese, Bichon Frise, Poodles, Bouviers and Schnauzers.
"Deputies initially removed two dozen dogs that were in poor medical condition and returned to the property to seize the remaining animals. Most of the dogs have severely matted fur, fleas, intestinal parasites and eye issues," the release states.
"All of the dogs need to be medically evaluated, treated and/or cleared before they will be available for adoption. Seventy dogs have already been transferred to area rescues and others will be moved today. Criminal charges against the owner are pending."
Adoptions will begin as soon as Monday, and interested citizens can download an application from www.SarasotaSheriff.org (under Public Interest click Animal Services).
The sheriff's office requests that you do not call Animal Services so that staff can care for the dogs. Please do not call Animal Services until that time to ensure all staff members are available to care for the dogs, as well as the other 122 animals that were already in the shelter.