HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office arrested a kennel operator after an animal control officer found 11 dead puppies in garbage cans and others uncared for at his kennel in Brooksville Tuesday.
Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies and animal enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Golden Kennel LLC on 9203 Weatherly Road Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation into sick puppies being sold from the kennel.
Animal Control Officer M. Rowe had recently learned that several puppies had been sold from the kennel and within days of being sold, some died of Canine parvovirus.
Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that is a high risk for unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than four months old. The virus affects dogs’ gastrointestinal tracks and is easily spread.
Upon execution of the search warrant Tuesday, Rowe located 11 dead puppies. Rowe said they were all improperly disposed of in garbage cans on the property.
The kennel operator, 34-year-old Jian Karlos Ortiz Mendez, was arrested and charged with 11 counts of aggravated animal cruelty. His bond was set at $23,000.
Eight puppies were seized from the property and sent to local veterinarieans for treatment. Each one showed symptoms consistent with Canine parvovirus.
Mendez’s kennel license will be revoked.