CLAY COUNTY, Fl. — There is a massive animal care operation going on at the Clay County Fairgrounds.
On Monday, authorities responded to a 1-acre property on Old Jennings Road where they found at the time, what they said were “at least 100 animals” living in deplorable and inhumane conditions. Sheriff Michelle Cook corrected the first report when it was originally said the property was 10 acres.
That number was an early estimate as crews worked to collect the animals, bring them to the fairgrounds, and assess their health.
Now, Clay County Emergency Management Director John Ward tells us as of Tuesday afternoon the total number of animals is now at 257. There are 101 dogs alone. The other animals include pigs, rabbits, chickens, goats, pigeons, ducks, and quails.
There are also some new puppies. “I think we had three pregnant dogs and one or two of them produced four babies overnight,” Ward said. He adds that they are not counted into the overall intake numbers.
On Monday the domestic animals were assessed with veterinarians, cleaned, and assigned to stalls. Now, they’re working on the livestock doing the same process.
“Phase one was getting them in, getting them checked and assessed, and getting them assigned to their new home and now two, we’re working on the sustainment,” Ward stated.
He added that they have as much if not more animals at this temporary facility than they do at the animal care and control facility. The fairgrounds will be maintained seven days a week for the feeding, cleaning, walking, and other animal care needs. It could be six to eight weeks of working out of this facility.
In regards to the investigation, it’s still in the early phases and it’s still unclear who could face charges for this incident.
For now, those looking to help can donate items to the fairgrounds Monday through Friday or call 877-252-9362 to make a monetary donation. Ward says right now they’re in desperate need for pee pads and puppy pads for the 101 dogs.
Other items needed include dry dog food, wet canned dog food, milk replacement, leashes and collars, spray bottles, cleaning wipes, dog toys (no rope toys), and dog shampoo.
The animals will stay at the fairgrounds until the investigation is over. They’re also being quarantined for 14 days to check for any diseases. Right now Ward says no animals have died but there was “a lot of neglect.” More details will eventually be released by the veterinarian running the operation.
He says once the entire process is complete they’re hoping to do a “mega adoption” event at the fairgrounds. We’ll have more updates as they come.
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