A North Port woman is accused of animal cruelty after she left her 19 dogs in a makeshift kennel without proper shelter, food or water.

On Jan. 27, Sarasota County sheriff's Animal Services Officers were sent to Mattox Circle. When officers arrived, they found several small-breed dogs ranging in age from 4 weeks to 16 years old, living in wire and small carriers.

The dogs were exposed to cold weather and deprived of food and clean water, officials said.

Deputies contacted the owner, Amy Lovering, 53, who told deputies she made the makeshift kennel for the dogs to sleep in while she was out of town.

Deputies said Lovering, who has two prior arrests in Tennessee for animal cruelty, kept the 19 dogs in the kennel November 2017 and January 2018. She also admitted to keeping 15 of the dogs in her pickup truck.

The dogs had overgrown fur and nails, were covered in dirt and infested with fleas. Every dog was also suffering from internal parasites due to a lack of veterinary care.

Lovering is charged with two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals and a one count of confinement without food or water. She remains in custody without bail.