Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Distressed animals removed from nonprofit rescue shelter in Hernando County

By Logan Neill

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County animal control officers removed a dozen distressed animals Monday from a Brooksville home that for the three years has served as a nonprofit animal rescue shelter.

Animal Services supervisor Patrick Pace said officers responding to a complaint of unsanitary conditions at 172 Lark Ave. arrived to find the decaying carcasses of two guinea pigs, a ferret and a chinchilla inside the residence.

Pace said the owners of the animals, Douglas Holt, 46, and Lorri Schiller, 39, agreed to give Animal Services custody of the rest of their animals, including nine dogs, two chinchillas and a squirrel.

The state Department of Corporations Web site lists Holt and Schiller as registered agents for the nonprofit corporation Disaster Animal Rescue/Response Team of Florida and Hoofs, Paws and Claws, Inc. Attempts to reach Holt and Schiller Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Pace, who was among three responding officers, described the scene inside the home as "pretty bad." In addition to the dead animals, the home was littered with feces and garbage, and had an odor so strong that officers had to use ventilator suits, masks and gloves..." More