Thursday, Oct 02, 2014

Abandoned animals wait for homes


Published:   |   Updated: May 31, 2013 at 01:29 PM

SPRING HILL - Last week, more than 50 animals were pulled out of a hot trailer belonging to a Pasco County woman who left the animals just north of County Line Road.

On Wednesday, Dr. Lisa Centonze said that although the animal hoarding incident received attention from local media, nearly all of the surviving animals still need a home.

Two dogs have been released to a rescue, but a female Chow, about 8 years old and 60 pounds, needs a good home.

One cat has been picked up by the Humane Society of the Nature Coast, Centonze said, leaving five remaining cats at the county shelter.

Evans, 52, was arrested on May 22, and remains in the Hernando County Jail on $2,650 bond for the 53 animal cruelty charges against her.

Last Tuesday, the sheriff's office and animal services responded to the Publix parking lot at Mariner and County Line Road in Spring Hill after calls of animals "screaming" inside the U-Haul trailer came in.

Many of the cats were found in large plastic bins, according to the sheriff's office. Pasco County Code Enforcement officers followed Evans to Hernando County Animal Services to make sure she did not return to Pasco County, according to Centonze in an email to county commissioners. Centonze and animal services staff worked late to treat the animals.

During a meeting earlier in the week, county commissioners decided to bill Pasco County for the time and money spent treating Evans' animals.

Emails show County Administrator Len Sossamon sent an email to Centonze the morning after the animals were seized, copying county commissioners and administrators, asking "What gives Pasco County Code Enforcement officers the right to bring that woman and her animals to Hernando County? She should be criminally and civilly charged."

Centonze wrote back, "My understanding is that because the animals were abandoned in Hernando County it becomes our issues ... I just take care of them once they get to the shelter,"

Of the 50 cats, 39 were euthanized due to their poor health or unsocialized demeanor, according to a press release. Since then, five more cats have been euthanized, Centonze said.

The total bill of $2,006.94 breaks down as follows:

$1,325 in impound fees

$606.45 in staff time, including overtime

$22.70 in tranquilization solution

$14.26 in euthanasia solution

$13.53 in vaccines

$25 in supplies including deworming and flea control

Centonze said Tuesday that $2,000 is a lot of money for Animal Services.

"It means a lot," Centonze said. "It means we can do more heartworm treatment, waive or lower adoption fees, order more supplies, medications and other supplies."

wbiddlecombe@hernandotoday.com

(352) 544-5283

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