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263 Dogs Seized In Florida; Animal Officials Seek Adopters

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Two of more than 250 dogs seized from a Florida home last week.
Two of more than 250 dogs seized from a Florida home last week.

Police raided a Florida residence with 263 dogs -- at least by one count -- found in sickening conditions outside their owner's home.

Now animal rescue groups need your help.

Sarasota Animal Services removed the small dogs -- which included Chihuahuas, Malteses, Jack Russells, Poodles and Schnauzers -- over a few days last week when they were found with severely matted fur, fleas, eye issues and intestinal parasites, according to a Sarasota County Sheriff's Office press release.

The owner wasn't identified. Though an arrest hasn't been made, animal cruelty charges are pending against the owner, cops said.

The doggies were being held in a series of chicken coop-like structures outside the Venice home. Strips of metal and tarps were the only structure separating the pooches from the elements. They were all "disgusting" and covered in urine, animal officials said.

It's believed that the owner was a breeder who took to animal hoarding, WTSP reported.

The dogs were fed, but they were in wretched condition.

"Their fur all matted down, laying in their own waste. They're not meant to be living inside metal cages like chickens," Lt. Scott Ortner, director of Sarasota Animal Services, told the station.

The animals aren't being put to sleep. Rescue groups as far as Orlando are putting the dogs up for adoption and caring for them in the meantime, ABC 7 reported.

You can help. To see some of the pups already up for adoption, click here, or contact one of the shelters listed below:

Almost Home, Florida Little Dog Rescue, Honor Sanctuary, Canine Castaways, Safe Haven, Suncoast Humane Society, Underdog Rescue, Florida Poodle Rescue, VIP Rescue, Kickapoo Rescue, Certified Preowned Dogs, Bay Road Animal Hospital and Ashton Animal Clinic.

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