WALNUT HILL, Fla. (WKRG) — Animal control and pet rescue organizations are stepping in after more than 80 dogs were found living with a foster in Escambia County, Florida.
Paws Crossed Animal Rescue, based in Brewton, Ala., sent WKRG News 5 photos that show the dogs living in deplorable conditions. The photos show floors covered in feces and several dogs in cages.
The dogs have been fostered by Patty Gentry, who lives alone with the more than six dozen dogs.
“Yes, there was feces on the floor,” Gentry said Friday. “But again, you have 100 dogs in your house and you try to keep it clean.”
Gentry said she started by fostering a few dogs over the years, the number of canine guests in her house just kept growing.
“Well, I would get a call that this person died can you take the dog?” she said. “I got a call that this person got evicted, can you take the dog?”
Tanya Gardner with Paws Crossed Animal Rescue says Gentry had been working with another animal rescue to solve the dog-hoarding issue when Paws Crossed got involved.
With Gentry’s permission, Gardner went into the Walnut Hill home with another animal advocate and counted all the dogs. She said she counted 88 dogs and more could be there now. The home was hardly livable, she said.
“You can get overwhelmed,” Gentry said. “If you do the work correctly, it really can become a lot.”
Gentry added she knows the living conditions are unacceptable but she loves the dogs.
“I do this for (the dogs),” she said. “They are my number one priority.”
An Escambia County spokeswoman told WKRG News 5 animal control is working on the animal wellness case but could not comment further. A south Florida Rescue was set to take the dogs on Friday but backed out after Gentry seemed reluctant to hand over the dogs, according to Gardner.
Gentry disputes this claim.
“They’re taking all my dogs. And they’re going to rehabilitate some of them.” she said. “The ones they cannot rehabilitate, I’ve asked to keep but I don’t know if I’ll be allowed to keep them.”
Gardner said it’s likely Gentry will eventually have to surrender the dogs. She said she hopes the community will support its local shelters and rescues when that happens.