MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida woman was arrested Wednesday after deputies said she confessed to dumping nine of her dogs in a wooded area.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office said 62-year-old Deborah Perez “drove about five miles from her Stuart mobile home and dumped nine, matted, filthy, confused little dogs in a parking lot near a wooded area in sweltering heat with no food or water.”
The dogs, purebred Lhasa Apsos, ranged in age from 4 months to 4 years old. They stayed close together and took shelter in a wooded area.
Deputies said the dogs were picked up one at a time and brought to safety by MCSO Animal Services Supervisor Karen Kneubehl, Officer Shannon McGee and Officer Tabitha Queen along with concerned citizens.
Tipsters told deputies that Perez, who initially claimed she knew another about the dogs, went from owning multiple dogs to just three.
Perez confessed to dumping the dogs after several conversations with deputies.
She was arrested and charged with nine counts of animal abandonment/cruelty.
The sheriff’s office said the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast has taken care of the dogs since they were recovered.
“The next step is to prepare the dogs for new loving homes,” deputies said.
The sheriff’s office said Perez was placed on a $45,000 bond.