LIVE OAK, Fla. (WTXL) — 118 dogs have been removed from a Live Oak home in what the Suwannee County Sheriff is calling "the worst case of animal hoarding and neglect that he’s seen in his 40-year law enforcement career."
Tuesday morning, the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office served a search and seizure warrant at a home in the 7000 block of Walker Place in western Suwannee County as part of a felony animal cruelty investigation.
During the investigation, 118 dogs were removed from the property. They say the majority of the dogs were living outside in a fenced-in area and most were in need of medical care for a variety of conditions.
Sheriff Sam St. John called it "the worst case of animal hoarding and neglect that he’s seen in his 40-year law enforcement career."
Once the property was secured by deputies, the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Division, along with the help of several volunteer groups, captured each dog, assigned it an identification number, took a picture of it and took it to the Suwannee County Animal Shelter.
As the dogs arrived at the shelter, SCSO says each were examined, vaccinated and medically treated.
The owners of the dogs, 53-year-old Cheryl Grau Articas and 78-year-old William Richard Grau, were both arrested and transported to the Suwannee County Jail where they have been charged with 118 counts of felony animal cruelty.
All of the dogs rescued from the property were surrendered to the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office by the owners, which allows the dogs to be immediately adopted out to loving homes once they are medically cleared.
Sheriff St John thanked the following volunteer animal rescue groups for their help:
Big Dog Ranch Rescue
Loxahatchee Groves, FL
Guardians of Rescue
Southern Edge K-9
Team Suwannee County Animal Shelter Volunteers