SEFFNER, Fla. (WFLA) – When animal control officers walked up to David Mitchell’s home along Davis Pool Road, they were greeted by dogs on the front porch.
Many scratched uncontrollably. The animal control officers said the dogs were infested with fleas.
“Some of them needed a haircut because they’re Shih Tzus,” Mitchell said. “Shih Tzus are high maintenance dogs and with as many dogs as I had, I couldn’t get to everyone all the time. And since they were afraid of scissors, that’s how dogs are,” he said.
Mitchell spoke to 8 On Your Side and explained that he didn’t think things were that bad.
But, it appears he never had a full grasp on how many dogs lived on his property.
“I had 30 dogs. I didn’t realize I had 30 dogs because once you have 20 dogs, and I had some that were in the house, some in the backyard, some in the front yard, and I never went out and counted 1, 2, 3, 4,” he explained.
Mitchell also didn’t have a full grasp on the living conditions.
8 on Your Side spoke to Roger Mills, Hillsborough County’s Animal Control Director, who’s on the case.
“He didn’t see the issue,” Mills said. “He felt like he was doing the best he could, so he was obviously looking at the care a little differently than we would look at it,” Mills explained.
Mills said Mitchell refused to turn over the dogs, so a judge signed a warrant that allowed animal control officers to move in and take the dogs.
They’ve all been adopted, Mills said.
“What’s your plan now that the dogs are gone?” reporter Ryan Hughes asked.
“Moving out of the county. I ain’t gonna stay in Hillsborough County because Hillsborough County has got a very pound department, they’re very aggressive,” Mitchell said.