BRADENTON, Fla. — Police have provided more information about the circumstances surrounding the discovery of more than a dozen dogs officers say were being hoarded in a Bradenton home.
On Saturday, Manatee County Manatee Animal Services rescued 14 dogs and two birds which police officers say were found in some "deplorable" conditions at the home on 13th Street.
Bradenton police said the officers were dispatched for a domestic situation that ultimately led to the discovery of the pets. The animals were taken to the Bishop Animal Shelter, where veterinarians are checking them out and making sure they were not abused or malnourished. Police investigators are also looking into whether any charges would be necessary in light of the full context of the discovery.
"As soon as they went into the home, in the front entryway, there were multiple dog crates, dog cages, stacked one on top of each other with about one or two dogs per crate," Bradenton Police Spokesperson Meredith Frameli said.
According to Frameli, the officers had been alerted to the presence of weapons inside the home.
With the resident's permission and a search warrant, the officers say they gained entry and stumbled upon the animals
"Officers continued into another room of the house and they also located at least one additional dog in a crate in there as well as two birds and there was at least one dog that was also wandering through the home," Frameli said.
Police said the woman had scheduled with Manatee County Animal Services to pick up the animals this week before the domestic incident occurred.
Police also said she told them she was caring for one of the dogs. However, according to Frameli, it's unclear where the other dogs came from and how long they had been at the home.
"We take these animal cases very seriously. Right now the investigation is ongoing so we don't know if this was a situation where the animals were obtained over a period of time or if they were improperly cared for over a period of time," she said.
Once veterinarians give the pets a clean bill of health, officials at the shelter plan to put the animals up for adoption.
"We do know that a lot of times people get into a situation where it gets out of control. They may in a sense collect these animals and then they cannot care for them and unfortunately, it ends up in a situation like this," Frameli said.
Police said both investigations, the domestic incident, and the animal complaint are still active and ongoing.
The conclusion of the investigation would determine whether any charges related to animal abuse would be filed or not.