JCSO Seize Nearly 130 Dogs Living In Poor Conditions In Grand Ridge

MARIANNA, Fla. - Jackson County Sheriff's deputies are investigating an unusual case of animal abuse.

The two-day animal abuse investigation came to head Thursday night, when deputies confiscated 127 dogs from a home on Porter Avenue in Grand Ridge.

"We've had some situations...10-20 dogs, but to my knowledge never 127," said JCSO Capt. Scott Edwards.

Edwards said they received a tip from someone who bought a dog from the property owner.

"The dog that was purchased was not what they intended, and may have had some health issues," said Edwards.

When deputies arrived at the property, Edwards said they found dozens of different breeds, many confined in small cages.

All of them were adequately fed, but were living in deplorable conditions, lying in their own feces and urine.

"It's not your average abuse case of an animal, but yet in itself it is abuse," said Edwards.

Deputies turned over the dogs to the Animal Control of West Florida in Chipley.

"It was a really long night, the two officers from Jackson County who were transporting back and forth were just amazing. We walked out of here about 3:30 in the morning," said ACWF Manager Belva Vaughn

Vaughn said she was surprised by the condition of the dogs.

"Some of them were in really great shape. Some of the longer-haired dogs, there is some skin issues...hair loss, that kind of thing. But by and large, the majority of them look pretty good," said Vaughn.

Vaughn also added that she and her staff will care for the dogs until they can be adopted out to new families.

"I already have list, upon list, upon, list of dogs that have places to go so I feel pretty safe in saying that by next weekend we should just about have all of these dogs out of here and in safe places," said Vaughn.

The Animal Control of West Florida will be open tomorrow from 9 a.m. until noon.

They are located at 686 Highway 90, and the phone number to call is 850-638-2082.

Authorities said charges against previous owner Dorene Smigiel, are pending the outcome of their investigation.

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