TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Over a two-day period, Hillsborough County Animal Services seized 352 dogs from Toyland Pet Resort in Tampa.
The county says the dogs were being kept in deplorable conditions. It’s estimated the care for the dogs will cost county taxpayers more than $100,000.
It’s not the first time the county has stepped in to take dogs from the Toyland Pet Resort. The county also seized dogs from the facility in 1999. Hillsborough County taxpayers ended up paying more than $250,000 for the care of dogs taken from the facility that year.
Alice Holt was the owner then. She is now listed as manager. She also owns the property and lives in a house on the property.
The county seized hundreds of more dogs in 2011. At that time, records show the county banned Holt from owning dogs. The order, however, did not ban her from being in charge of the animals at the facility.
Now Robert Royers is listed as the owner and he’s been banned from ever owning dogs again by court order.
Scott Trebatoski, the director of pet resources for the county, says the seized dogs are already doing much better.
“The dogs are doing fairly well. We’ve got them kind of divided up into three groups. We’ve got the ones that need critical, ongoing care and then the ones that are pregnant and have had babies and are nursing and then we’ve got the bigger group that are just needing a little extra T.L.C. and socialization,” said Trebatoski.
Volunteers who work with the county are already helping the seized dogs adjust to a new and better environment.
“They’ve been kind of having the time of their life with finding out what a bed is, finding out what good food is and toys and water and everything and they are starting to settle in,” said Trebatoski.
A number of people have arrived to try and adopt the seized dogs from Animal Services but Trebatoski says it may be some time before that can happen.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have a date certain because they are evidence in a case and while a judge has given us initial ability to take them and tentative custody, the owner has 30 days to appeal,” said Trebatoski.