Wimauma, Florida -- Gentle water features, fresh flowers, and lush landscape -- that is the face of Southern Hillsborough County, but there is another: filth and squalor.
Hillsborough County deputies and Animal Control were called out to a property located at 8311 SR 673 in Wimauma, where dozens of dogs were roaming free. When officials arrived, they discovered one dog dead, and two puppies freshly buried.
Neighbors, reluctant to show their faces, say they have had enough.
"It bothers my grandson to see sick dogs all over the place. He wants them to get up," said one neighbor.
Neighbors say they've been living with vile conditions and stench for years. They say the dogs get out, defecate at will, rip apart the garbage, and are generally aggressive.
"And we've asked for them to take care of it, and we've asked and we've told and we've asked, and now it comes down to innocent puppies dying."
We spoke with the property owner face-to-face, but he wouldn't go on camera. He confirmed Animal Control officers helped him bury a dog that died of old age, and two puppies that died "from exposure to weather."
Officials want to take possession of the dogs because the owner clearly is unable to care for them. Garbage is everywhere, including piled on the trailer's front porch. Dogs live underneath, and breed non-stop. For the community, it's a quality of life issue.
"I try not to look that way. I try not to look that way when I drive out. I don't even walk down my driveway anymore because I can't walk past these dogs," said a neighbor.