JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Oct. 14 Update: Clay County filed a civil petition against the owner of 256 Old Jennings Road after over 200 animals were rescued from the property.
The petition requests custody of all the animals that were removed. According to the petition, there were 266 total animals removed, including dogs, pigs, rabbits, chickens, goats, turtles, pigeons, quail, one duck and one goose.
The petition states, “the vast majority of the animals had little to no access to clean food or water and could not escape their urine and fecal contaminated housing.”
Clay County has also requested compensation from the owner for providing reasonable care to the animals, including veterinary care, food, medicine and boarding.
Oct. 12 Update: The Clay County Sheriff’s Office now says more than 200 animals were recovered Monday at a property on Old Jennings Road.
An Amazon list was created so the community can purchase items the animals are in need of.
“Any help our community can give is greatly appreciated,” Sheriff Michelle Cook said.
Items can also be dropped off at the Clay County Fairgrounds located at 2497 FL-16 in Green Cove Springs.
At least 100 animals have been rescued from a Clay County home today. Clay County sheriff Michelle Cook says it’s a necessary rescue.
“We’re glad these animals are finally getting the care they need.”
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The sheriff’s office said the property was so extensive they didn’t even know how many animals needed help going into today.
“So it’s a pretty extensive property and they have a lot of animals on the property.”
The search began at 7:30 a.m. when responders suited up, ready to face the diseases they feared the animals would have.
Emergency Management Director John Ward says suits were necessary for everyone’s protection.
“Again, these animals were loaded straight from the home where they could potentially have been contaminated with various amounts of contaminants or diseases or something like that.”
Investigators spent hours crating the animals up and driving them to the Clay County fairgrounds where a rescue facility had been set up.
“They will be offloaded, they will be stacked inside in their crates, and as the veterinarians and the forensic veterinarians begin assessing them these are the tables they will be assessing.”
The county prepared for anything. Many animals will require special care.
″They also have stalls that are set up for any of the pregnant animals that they have that may need nursing or may need assistance in the nursing,” Ward said.
The sheriff’s office prepared stall after stall with crates, blankets, bowls and more. Even more areas were set up for the chickens, goats and rabbits found. Each animal is evidence in the county’s case.
“Obviously, this is evidence for the sheriff’s office so any of the details they find, if any, on the animals, they will be able to track and log accordingly.”
The situation was reported after first responders were called to the home for a medical emergency. Despite weeks of planning before the search warrant was served, no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed.
Ward says the animals will need extensive care and quarantine.
“Regardless of the investigative side of this, they are going to have to be kept in quarantine and monitored for the next 14 days.”
The sheriff’s office says at this point, the most important thing is getting these animals cared for, and the public can help.
“Beginning tomorrow at 9 am we will have a donation center set up.”
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