Fort Myers News Press
All 24 of the Yorkie and Maltese dogs who were seized from a Lehigh Acres puppy mill have been adopted from Lee County Domestic Animal Services.
People started lining up for hours before the shelter opened at 11:30 a.m., said animal services spokeswoman Ria Brown, and within 40 minutes they had all found homes.
Most of nearly 30 animals seized from a puppy mill in Lehigh Acres this week are available for adoption now from Lee County Domestic Animal Services.
The animals – 25 dogs and four cats – were found living in squalor in a shed at 1606 Monroe Ave., according to spokeswoman Ria Brown. The discovery was made after the division received an anonymous call on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
The property is owned by Jess and Kathleen Holden, who were not charged, according to Brown.
They agreed to surrender the animals due to their inability to provided proper care and housing as required by county and state laws. Rather than petition the courts for custody and file charges Animal Services determined that it was in the animals’ best interest to accept their surrender so they could be properly vaccinated, de-wormed and treated for any other problems immediately and placed into appropriate permanent homes without delay. LCDAS will conduct regular checks to ensure that the owners never attempt to house animals in these conditions again. Charges will be filed for any future violations.
The Holdens told authorities they have been breeding and selling dogs for 25 years and moved to Lehigh in April of 2009.
The animals were found in cages inside a 200-square-foot shed. Conditions included poor ventilation, feces and urine on the floor and in the cages, flies and maggots on some of the food and feces.
The animals included 24 Yorkies and Maltese, one German Shepherd, and four cats. They have been examined, received veterinary care and were bathed.
Animal Services’ kennels open are open from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm Monday through Saturday for adoptions. The shelter is at 5600 Banner Drive, Fort Myers, next to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office off of Six Mile Cypress Parkway. View all animals available for adoption at www.LeeLostPets.com or call 239-533-7387 (LEE-PETS) for further information.