A Florida animal kennel operator was arrested this week after 11 dead puppies were discovered inside trash cans on the property, local authorities said.
Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies and animal enforcement officers raided Golden Kennel LLC on Weatherly Road in Brooksville Tuesday, as part of an investigation into sick puppies being housed at — and sold from — the facility, authorities said.
During an investigation, animal enforcement Officer M. Rowe had received information that several puppies from the kennel died of the highly contagious canine parvovirus within days of being sold, according to police.
When Rowe showed up, operator Jian Karlos Ortiz Mendez allegedly refused to allow her full access to the puppies.
As the officer spoke to Ortiz Mendez in the office, she spotted a very sick puppy on the floor and asked the operator about its condition. He told the officer that his veterinarian “was aware,” according to authorities.
While at the kennel, Rowe also found 11 dead puppies improperly disposed of in garbage cans on the property, police said.
Eight puppies — all with signs of the parvovirus — were seized from the property and brought to local veterinarians for treatment, cops said.
The remaining dogs on the property — about 138 — were left under the care of kennel staff.
Ortiz Mendez, 34, was arrested and charged with 11 counts of aggravated animal cruelty and one misdemeanor count of animal neglect, stemming from a lack of water for kenneled dogs, the sheriff’s office said.
His bond was set at $23,000.
Ortiz Mendez’s kennel license will also be revoked by Hernando County Animal Services, according to authorities.
No dogs or puppies are permitted to be sold or removed from the facility unless taken under the care of a licensed veterinarian, officials said.