FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. (WESH) — Flagler County sheriff’s detectives said while investigating whether the operator of an animal rescue was illegally selling prescription drugs, they found dozens of animals in filthy conditions on the property, many of them very sick.
The rescue is called Saffari: Save A Furry Friend Animal Rescue.
A total of 46 animals were confiscated from the rescue, though one kitten was dead at the scene, and three others have since died. Several surviving animals have no eyesight, even no eyes, due to untreated upper respiratory infections.
“Some of them are real thin, lots of intestinal parasites; the dogs have skin conditions, but we’ll get through it,” said Amy Carotenuto, executive director of the Flagler Humane Society, where the animals are being cared for.
Flagler County sheriff’s officials said they went to the animal rescue property with a search warrant Wednesday after obtaining evidence the operator was allegedly illegally selling prescription medications. Then they saw the animals: 28 cats, 17 dogs and a squirrel.
“They were deplorable conditions, filthy, unfit for animals to be in,” said Detective Annie Conrad.
Investigators said they found over 100 prescription medications inside the rescue, including morphine and antibiotics. The meds coming from pharmacies and doctors all over the country, some of them prescribed to people the rescue operator allegedly says she doesn’t know.
Law enforcement officials said they also seized $20,000 in cash, money they believe is profit from the illegal sale of the prescription narcotics, and notes they believe are orders for medications.
Officials said the rescue operator has previously been accused of adopting out sick animals and said the animals she currently had were all suffering from some kind of illness.
The operator of the rescue did surrender the animals to the humane society. Once they are well, they will be looking for good homes.