ASPCA Assists Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office with the Rescue of More Than 50 Animals in Florida Hoarding Case

Emaciated dogs, cats receiving medical care at ASPCA emergency shelter
February 18, 2016

Bell, Fla.—At the request of the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is assisting with evidence collection and managing the removal and sheltering of 47 dogs, four cats and a horse living in an overcrowded home in Bell, Fla. The investigation was initiated by the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office when a concerned citizen reported a dead horse in the front yard of the residence as well as several dogs who appeared to be neglected. The Sheriff’s Office contacted the ASPCA for assistance, and responders arrived on scene late yesterday and worked through the night to remove and transport the animals to an emergency shelter.

Animals were discovered living in deplorable conditions and exhibited numerous signs of neglect. There was no food on the property, and the animals appeared to be suffering from untreated medical issues and emaciation. Responders confirmed a deceased horse, which was taken to the University of Florida for a necropsy exam.

“Many of the animals were found in critical condition and we’re pleased to be in a position to help the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office remove these animals from a dire situation,” said Adam Leath, Southeast regional director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “Over the next few days, our Forensic Sciences team will be collecting evidence to support the criminal case, while the animals receive medical exams and behavioral assessments at our temporary shelter.”

The animals were transported to a temporary shelter at an undisclosed location, where the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team will continue to provide much-needed care for the animals until custody is determined by the court. The Florida State Animal Response Coalition (Apollo Beach, Fla.) and Miami-Dade County Animal Services (Miami, Fla.) are assisting the ASPCA with the sheltering operation.

Animal cruelty charges are pending, according to the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office.