CLEWISTON, Fla. -- Only on WINK - Hundreds of puppies are on their way to animal control offices throughout south Florida. Authorities confiscated more than 200 dogs from a suspected puppy mill in Clewiston Tuesday.
Between 215 and 225 dogs, some as young as eight weeks old, were taken from a home on South Palm Street in Clewiston after complaints for a puppy mill were called in over the last few weeks.
"She did have a small puppy mill going and we managed to talk her into letting us have the entire lot of animals," said Allen Pickles, LaBelle Animal Control.
Rolando Gajate had brought his puppy to the home several weeks ago to try and find a permanent home for it. He got a call Tuesday telling him most of the dogs were being removed.
"He feeds them all, he waters them. He hasn't had any code violation," said Gajate.
According to the property appraiser, the home belongs to Isabel and Lorenzo Ripoll. Animal control agencies from coast to coast came in to take the dogs away because they said the couple was overwhelmed.
"She was good enough and knew the right thing to do was to go ahead and release them to we could all find them good homes," said Pickles.
"These animals were taken care of. No matter if she had 100 or if she had five, they were all taken care of. Very well taken care of," said Roxana Diaz, a friend of the couple.
Other than some minor skin diseases and eye problems, authorities said the dogs were in good health. The plan is to have all of them find good homes and not euthanize them. As for the couple, the reason authorities are taking their dogs comes down to paperwork.
"She didn't have health certificates on puppies. Selling puppies without health certificates is against the law," said Pickles.
The couple will not be facing any charges because they worked with authorities to have most of the puppies removed.
"The only problem is she has a big heart and she got overwhelmed," said Pickles.
Animal control agencies from the east and west coast of Florida will be working together to find the dogs good homes. If you're interested in adopting, you can call one of the agencies below.
Broward Humane Society
2070 Griffin Road
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33004
Palm Beach Animal Control
7100 Belvedere Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33411
Caloosa Humane Society
1200 Pratt Boulevard
LaBelle, FL 33935
Gulf Coast Humane Society
2010 Arcadia Street
Fort Myers, FL 33916-4849
Humane Society Naples
370 Airport Pulling Road