140 Dogs Rescued from Neglect in Rural North Florida

OLD TOWN, FL -- The Dixie County Sheriff and the Humane Society of the United States are in the process of rescuing about 140 dogs from what's being called a severe neglect situation in the Old Town area, near Cross City, about 50 miles west of Gainesville.

HSUS says the dogs were living in "filthy, poor conditions" outside, in hutches caked in feces that leaked in the rain. Some appeared to have no access to food and water. Most of the dogs suffered from missing fur, sores, itches and other skin conditions. Wet weather is affecting rescue efforts. The dogs are on a property that includes a mobile home and some campers. Some of the dogs were found inside the mobile home.

Dixie deputies served a search warrant on a five acre property around 8 Tuesday morning. HSUS is taking the animals to a shelter where they'll be examined by veterinarians.

Laura Koivula, deputy manager of animal crimes for HSUS, called the site "a tragic scene" and described the dogs as "suffering in obvious misery and pain." She tells us that the dogs are from various breeds, and they don't know why they were all

Dixie sheriff Dewey Hatcher said, "In my nearly 20 years as sheriff, I have never seen conditions of this magnitude.”

All but three of the approximately 140 dogs rescued from the property were surrendered to the Humane Society of the United States. The three who were not surrendered will be cared for as their fate goes through the court process.

Listen to an interview with Laura Koivula on the scene in Dixie County:

See a photo gallery of the dogs below:

Photo Credit: Meredith Lee/ HSUS

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