Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fighting animal hoarding in Jacksonville

by: Kristen Cosby

Animal hoarding is a problem in Jacksonville, according to Animal Care and Protection's new director Scott Trebatokski. He's making it his mission to stop it.

Trebatokski says animal hoarding cases are common and hard to catch.

"We've got to have witnesses and its not always our officers who need to be witnesses often times its the neighbors," said Trebatoksi.

Action News obtained neighbors' complaints about possible hoarding at an Arlington home that led to an investigation by Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services.

Once complaint said: "Has over a hundred animals in her house. The stench is almost beyond belief".

Action News' cameras joined investigators early one morning when they served an inspection warrant at the home.

"Allowing the animals to create an unsanitary living condition and nauseas odors. Your could basically smell them from the street. So she'll get a citation for that," said animal control officer Robert Currey.

The owners were also cited for not licensing or vaccinating their dogs, but only two dogs were found inside. An inspection warrant requires owners to get 24 hours notice before investigators can search their property. A lot can change in 24 hours.

"It was pretty apparent that there had been an extensive amount of cleaning done over the last 24 hours," said Currey.

There was a lot of trash in front of the house and neighbors told animal control they watched the suspected hoarders take animals away throughout the night..." More & video