ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A couple who was arrested on animal cruelty charges was released from jail after posting bail late Monday night, Orange County authorities said.
A call to animal services turned into an animal cruelty and child neglect case, investigators said.
Animal control officers said the home's condition where the family and 19 animals were living was the worst they've ever seen.
Authorities said the animals are alive, but in bad shape. One animal was near death and had an emergency visit with the vet.
Jessica Ankiel and Abrhamam Israel were arrested after animal services was called out to the home for animal cruelty.
Officials said the home where Ankiel operated a dog rescue was in such disarray, the county condemned it.
"The officer said it was a very severe case," Diane Summers with Orange County Animal Services said.
Seventeen dogs and two cats were found in deplorable conditions, animal officials said. The dogs are emaciated and their coats are badly matted.
"They do have some ear infections, hair loss, things like that, emaciated," Summers said.
Ankiel was running Ohana Animal Rescue, but neighbors said they had no idea.
One man who didn't want to be identified said he never saw the animals outside.
"Did you know he had that many animals?" WFTV asked.
"No, I don't think anybody knew, they weren't out," the man said.
Animal services said Ankiel only adopted four animals from them, the rest were originally adopted by Dogs Rock and Cinagro Rescue.
"These animals originally from our shelter were in a rescue group, and this was a foster for the rescue group," Summers said.
Cinagro's founder told WFTV an initial inspection of Ankiel's home was done last year and the home was fine.
The runner of Dogs Rock said Ankiel's name came from a list animal services gave her.
Animal services adopts out 30 to 40 animals a day and said it cannot do home inspections for everyone.
"It's just not possible due to our resources and manpower," Summers said.
Two children were also taken from the home and placed with family.
Animal services said it's too early in the investigation to decide if Ankiel or the rescue groups she adopted the dogs from will be on their do-not-adopt list.
WFTV checked, and Ohana Rescue is not a registered nonprofit rescue group.