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Dozens of animals rescued from 'deplorable' Florida home

Officials found animals in cages and the home was infested with fleas and the odor of animal waste.
Credit: Yakov - stock.adobe.com
Close-up of empty pet wire crate or animal cage

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. — Crews in Clay County rescued about 100 dogs, rabbits and other animals from a Middleburg, Fla. home with "deplorable conditions," the sheriff's office said.

Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook says a search warrant was served early Monday at the home on Old Jennings Road. An investigation was launched several weeks ago after paramedics were called to the home for a medical emergency for one of two adults living there.

It was during this medical emergency call that deputies were able to legally enter the property, the sheriff's office says.

Officials found animals in cages, and the home was filled with fleas and the odor of animal waste. Cooks say officials "observed conditions that rose to the level that required additional investigation."

"We’re glad to be able to get these animals the care they need," Cook said. "This is still very early in our investigation, and the results of that will determine any potential charges and arrests."

The rescued animals were removed from the home Monday and transported to the Clay County Fairgrounds for treatment and care. Video posted on social media Monday shows investigators wearing biohazard suits as they removed animals from the property.  

This rescue operation will have many phases, Emergency Management Director John Ward said with safety for first responders, staff and animals at the forefront. Phases include collecting the animals, which happened Monday. The second phase will be the intake, assessment, treatment, grooming and assigning a crate and stall. 

The third phase will be the 14-day quarantine to monitor them for any potential diseases. Phase four will be determining when the animals can be spayed and neutered and phase five will involve preparing the animals for adoption in their new homes. 

The Orange Park Police Department says if anyone wants to help aid in supplies or donate their time to help these animals, please call 1-877-252-9362.

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