Seven dogs including three puppies were rescued Tuesday morning from a self-storage unit in Brooksville, Fla. An anonymous call led deputies from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office to the facility in the 1000 block of Hale Avenue. When they arrived, they heard dogs barking in a unit that was supposed to be vacant according to the facility owner but was secured by a large padlock.
Using a bolt-cutter, police opened the door and discovered one dog tethered to a short lease and several others in metal cages. Two chihuahuas were locked inside a metal crate on top of another that held a female dog and three puppies between six and eight weeks old. Only the leashed dog had access to water, and the unit had no ventilation, according to several sources.
“I mean, no one should have a dog if they’re going to treat them like that,” said Sandy Smiley, who lives near the storage facility. “We want to keep animals safe, people safe, kids safe. There’s a lot of people in this neighborhood who really care.”
The animals were taken to Hernando County Animal Services and evaluated by a veterinarian, who said they were in “fairly decent condition.” Based on their health, he doesn’t think the dogs were in the unit for an extended period.
Deputies are searching for the owner of the dogs. The storage facility doesn’t have video cameras, but the owner is cooperating in the investigation. Anyone with information should call 352.754.6830.