Pasco County Animal Services has more than 30 small-breed dogs available for adoption after some unfortunate circumstances in Dade City.
According to shelter manager Mike Shumate, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office received an anonymous tip about a woman in a double-wide mobile home hoarding a large number of mini canines. Code enforcement and an Animal Services officer responded Wednesday afternoon and found 46 dogs in the residence on Silver Bend Drive.
The woman, Josephine Eckardt, 71, used to breed show dogs with her husband, Shumate said, but when he died she couldn't keep up with the animals.
"She didn't have the energy or time to continue with the breeding," he said, "and unfortunately they started to breed on the property."
The dogs are of considerable pedigree — including Yorkshire terriers, Malteses, Lhasa apsos and Biewer terriers — and bear little resemblance to the ordinary crop of blended mutts and pit bull terriers generally found at the shelter.
When officers arrived, the house smelled strongly of ammonia, but no charges were filed. Shumate said it wasn't a case of neglect, but one of an elderly woman who couldn't manage the animals.
The shelter took 34 dogs, Eckardt's family took some and Eckardt kept a few.
"It turned out really good," Shumate said. "It was good for the family and good for the animals, and we have lots of volunteers cleaning them up. We've got a big adoption coming up."
That adoption is the "Empty the Shelter" event. It's set for noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, and all adoption fees will be waived.
Shumate said some of the new dogs have already been claimed, and he doesn't expect any of them to be there for too long.