BROOKSVILLE — Twenty-seven dogs were seized Thursday after the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said they were found tethered to heavy chains, without water or shelter.
Deputies said they received several complaints about the dogs and ended up issuing multiple citations to Johnnie Thompson, 36, for violating county ordinances. The exact number of citations was not disclosed.
The investigation started Wednesday when authorities drove by the property at 10380 Preston Road.
Deputies and animal enforcement officers said they saw four dogs chained that didn't appear to have adequate shelter, violating two county ordinances for mistreatment of animals and tethering dogs to chains.
On Thursday, authorities returned with a search warrant.
The dogs, all pit bull terriers or mixed breeds, were kept in various ways, deputies said, with some in chains and others in crates. Most of the dogs did not have access to water.
During Thursday's investigation, deputies said Thompson showed up. He told deputies the dogs were his and they were all being cared for. But deputies said they did not find any proof that the dogs had been vaccinated or had county licenses.
The dogs were all taken to Hernando County Animal Services and the county is petitioning the courts for ownership of the dogs.
Contact TyLisa C. Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @tylisajohnson.