Animal rescue group president: Dumping animals 'an epidemic in Duval County'

Someone’s pet was dumped and later found living in a Westside home that is under construction.

Abbey, who is a lab mix, was found covered in fleas and left to die, but someone found her before that happened.

"It’s an epidemic in Duval County," Mike Merrill with Florida Urgent Rescue said.

Merrill said there is a rash of animals being dumped throughout the county.

"I think it's because they make it very difficult for people to surrender dogs," Merrill said.

On Wednesday, Merrill said he got a call to rescue the latest dog that was possibly dumped who they now call Abbey.

She was found by a homeowner in a Westside house that is under construction.

"He came yesterday morning to the building and there was a dog laying on the floor in the drywall dust," Merrill said.

Abbey was found with infections all throughout her body and she's infested with fleas and tapeworms.

Merrill said she's in rough shape, but in good spirits.

Merrill said the homeowner tried to call the city to get animal control to the house.

"The person they spoke to said, 'we can't do anything if the dog is inside the building,'" Merrill said.

Action News Jax reached out to the city Thursday morning and again in the afternoon to find out why no one came to help the dog and was told the “inquiry was forwarded.”

"It was truly heartbreaking to see her there, but encouraging that she stood up on her own," Merrill said.

He said she’s going to need a lot of medical attention, but she is going to recover.