Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

63 abandoned dogs found in street; Hernando authorities investigating

BROOKSVILLE — Neighbors on a dead-end road in rural Brooksville were awakened around 3 a.m. Thursday to the sound of numerous dogs barking outside.

When Hernando County Sheriff's deputies arrived to investigate, they found 63 starving Shih Tzu dogs running in the street and yards, many of them with numerous types of skin lesions, matted fur, and covered with fleas, urine and feces.

A Sheriff's Office report said that the dogs, found abandoned near Hilton Drive and Holden Drive, varied in age from mature dogs to mother dogs with weeks-old puppies.

Hernando County Animal Control supervisor Patrick Pace, who rolled up in his vehicle shortly after deputies arrived, described the scene as the most bizarre he had ever seen.

"There were dogs running everywhere you looked," Pace said. "We spent six hours looking for them until we found them all."

Once captured, the dogs were taken to the animal control facility on Olive Street where they were cordoned off in several kennels to await evaluation. Although some spent their time sleeping Thursday afternoon, a number of the dogs seemed eager to give a friendly greeting to any visitor that walked by. In one kennel, a mother Shih Tzu nursed five puppies.

Pace said that while none of the dogs appeared to face any life-threatening injuries, a number had lesions that appeared to be caused by severe flea infestation. All were in need of intensive grooming.

"It's obvious that these dogs have been severely neglected," Pace said. "It's terrible to see it."

One older dog had hair so matted that its eyes could barely be seen. Staffers also discovered a pine cone that had become tightly bound in its fur.

Pace said that the agency will spend the next few days evaluating the dogs and providing any necessary medical treatment and grooming care.

The Sheriff's Office said the dogs may have been from a puppy mill or backyard breeder. Abandonment of animals is a violation of county code.

Anyone with information about these dogs is asked to call the Hernando County Sheriff's Office at (352) 754-6830. Or if you wish to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward up to $1,000, call the Hernando Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-866-990-TIPS or e-mail a tip by clicking the Crimestoppers link at

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or

63 abandoned dogs found in street; Hernando authorities investigating 11/18/10 [Last modified: Thursday, November 18, 2010 10:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays journal: Homer-happiness returns against Blue Jays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays are back to hitting home runs, which was the norm of the offense for much of the season before the offense went cold.

    Adeiny Hechavarria greets teammate Kevin Kiermaier after his home run during the third inning at the Trop.
  2. Jones: Stop talking and start building a new Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was good to see Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred at Tropicana Field on Wednesday, talking Rays baseball and the hope for a new stadium somewhere in Tampa Bay.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred is popular with the media on a visit to Tropicana Field.
  3. Ousted to political Siberia by Corcoran, Kathleen Peters sets sights on Pinellas Commission

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The perks of power in Tallahassee are a coveted chairmanship, a Capitol office in a prime location and a prominent seat on the House floor. Now Rep. Kathleen Peters has lost all three, but here's the twist: Her trip to "Siberia" might actually help her reach the next step on the Tampa Bay political …

    Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, has been relegated to the back row in the State House chamber, moved to a fouth floor office and stripped of her job as chairwoman of a House subcommittee after a series of disagreements with House Speaker Richard Corcoran. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. What do kids need to stay away from deadly auto theft epidemic?

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — More than a dozen black teenagers told U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist on Wednesday that children need stronger mentors and youth programs to steer clear of the auto theft epidemic plaguing Pinellas County.

    Congressman Charlie Crist (center) listens as Shenyah Ruth (right), a junior at Northeast High School, talks during Wednesday's youth roundtable meeting with community leaders and kids. They met to discuss the ongoing car theft epidemic among Pinellas youth and how law enforcement, elected officials, and community organizations can work together to put an end to this dangerous trend. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. Manhattan Casino choice causes political headache for Kriseman


    ST. PETERSBURG — Days before the mayoral primary, Mayor Rick Kriseman's decision to let a Floribbean restaurant open in Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino has caused political angst within the voting bloc he can least afford to lose: the black community.

    Last week Mayor Rick Kriseman chose a Floribbean restaurant concept to fill Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino. But that decision, made days before next week's mayoral primary, has turned into a political headache for the mayor. Many residents want to see the building's next tenant better reflect its cultural significance in the black community. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]