TAMPA — The more than 60 Yorkshire terriers seized from a family-run puppy mill Thursday are alive but suffer ailments commonly associated with neglect, authorities said.
Hillsborough County Animal Services collected the puppies and dogs from two homes officials say were littered with trash, old food and feces.
Investigators recovered the animals from James Jordan's home at 8912 N 39th St. and Dovie Carter's home at 304 Orsley Drive in Seffner. Carter is Jordan's mother.
A man who answered the door at Jordan's residence declined to comment. Empty dog crates sat stacked in front of the house Thursday afternoon. A sign hanging in the driveway offered parking to "Yorkshire Terrier Lovers Only."
"All others will be chewed out," it warned.
Animal Services spokeswoman Marti Ryan said officials will present evidence of neglect to a judge at 9 a.m. today.
Ryan said the investigation was pending and could not comment on possible charges Jordan and Carter might face.
Many of the dogs were missing teeth and hair, dehydrated and showing signs of stress and fleas, Ryan said.
Animal Services became aware of the living conditions through a tipster who had arranged to adopt a dog. When the owners would not meet at their home and brought the dog in a dirty carrier, the person alerted authorities.
The terriers are not yet available for adoption.
Yorkshire terriers are considered a "designer breed" and some of the dogs had sold for $650 to $1,000, Ryan said.
She called the incident a classic case of animals being bred for profit and treated improperly. She said owners who are unwilling to show potential adopters their homes, the puppy's parents or proper health records are cause for alarm.
"Be very, very careful and make sure you can go through that checklist and get a good look-see about where the animals are born and raised," Ryan cautioned.