TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — 340 dogs are now in the custody of Hillsborough County, seized from a Tampa breeding facility following a court order.
Hillsborough County Pet Resources says it will likely take days to inspect, treat, and remove all the dogs from Trish’s All Breed Grooming, also known as Toyland Pet Resort, at 2501 East Diana Street.
The court order effectively shuts the facility down and the county began removing dogs Monday. Pet resources staff described the dogs, all small breeds, as living in overcrowded and deplorable conditions. There was also not enough staff to care for the large number of dogs.
“I’ve seen dental disease, skin issues, eye infections,” according to the county’s chief veterinarian, Dr. Mallory Offner.
“You might see as many as 20-30 dogs in a cage that should probably only have one or two,” added Pet Resources director, Scott Trebatoski.
One puppy was already dead when Pet Resources employees showed up Monday.
The court order comes after the county says it received several complaints about the breeding facility from potential dog buyers. It also bans the business owner, Robert Royers, from owning pets in Hillsborough County.
As of Monday afternoon, the county had not managed to make contact with Royers.
8 On Your Side found this is not the first time this facility has been in the dog house for running an apparent puppy mill.
In 2011, a judge removed Royers’ dogs from the East Diana Street facility. The order included a number of associates listed at that same address, including Alice Holt. County records show Holt owns the property.
Holt has also been banned from owning dogs in Hillsborough County since 2011, according to the county’s animal enjoinment list.
During a press conference Monday, Trebatoski acknowledged the county has had dealings with the property going back 20 years.
More than 450 dogs were seized from the property and Alice Holt in the late 90s, according to more court documents obtained by 8 On Your Side.
The dogs confiscated Monday will be held for at least 30 days, allowing Royers to appeal the judge’s order.
Because the population at the county’s shelter has effectively doubled, Hillsborough County Pet Resources is waiving fees for all dogs available for adoption in an effect to make more room.