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Jackson County Sheriff's office investigation into a report of animal abuse

Matt Boster

Viewed: 3068

Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Feb 17 2017 9:33 AM

On 02/15/17, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation into a report of animal abuse located at an address on Porter Ave. in the city of Grand Ridge, Florida.  Upon a Deputy arriving at the residence he observed numerous dogs of various breeds and sizes that were being kept in small sized pens and fenced areas. 

On this date the Deputy did not receive full cooperation from the homeowner/caretaker of the animals in regards to checking on the wellbeing, and overall health of all the animals being kept there. 

The following day on 2/16/17, Deputies returned to the residence for a follow up where contact was made again with the caretaker of the animals whom was identified as Dorene Smigiel.  During this time, Smigiel agreed to show Deputies all of the animals she had on the property in their living areas.  

As a result of the property tour, Deputies observed numerous dogs that were being kept in less than adequate or sanitary living conditions.  Some of the dogs had clean drinking water while others did not.  Deputies counted a total of 127 dogs that were being contained and held on the property in a small area.  Outside of the residence within a privacy fence in the backyard area, were numerous small, overcrowed fenced pens that contained most of the animals. 

Some of the pens were as small as 3 feet by 4 feet wide, where each pen contained anywhere from 2-7 dogs each.  It appeared that the animals had been walking in their own feces and urine for several days or longer.  Some of the animals appeared to be in poor health where they had lesions and skin conditions that needed treatment. 

Inside the residence were more dogs that were being held in small permanent 2 feet by 3 feet metal cages in the same conditions as mentioned above.  During the investigation Smigiel agreed to turn the animals over to a local shelter in order to remove them from the living conditions they were currently in and check on the health of the animals. 

This investigation is ongoing and criminal charges are pending in this case.

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