DeLand shelter to remain open after animals found in filthy conditions

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DELAND, Fla. - A Volusia County judge decided 135 animals seized from a DeLand shelter will be adopted out, but the shelter will remain open.

Earlier this month, the Animal Rescue Konsortium on Woodland Boulevard was shut down after complaints about how the animals were being treated.

Channel 9's Blaine Tolison was in court Monday for the judge's decision. He learned the shelter will also have some new guidelines to follow.

There is now an agreement between the rescue center and DeLand, and the center will have to meet guidelines set by the city.

The police department continues to investigate, and there is no word on whether criminal charges will be filed against the center's director, Maggie Hall.

Initially it was reported that 126 cats and dogs were seized, but authorities said they later found that several animals were roaming free and were added more to the count.

The animals were placed in shelters in Flagler, Volusia and Seminole counties.

During testimony on Monday, DeLand's city attorney brought up how volunteers were allowed to live at the center, in deplorable conditions, in exchange for taking care of the animals.

But the attorney for Hall, the center's director, argued that many of the conditions were a result of the animals not being cared for when DeLand police raided the facility on Nov. 8.

The attorney also said cleaning for that day had not been completed yet, and Hall even testified herself.

"We take care of the animals and if there are some that have to be euthanized because of their illness, then that has to be done," said Hall.

The city of DeLand made its case with testimony from veterinarians and Animal Control officers.

Dr. Erin Gray described conditions she captured on video.

"Towels that were the padding source for the cats there (were) covered in vomit and feces and urine," said Gray.

Witnesses also described cats sick with upper respiratory infections, expired medications and dogs and cats without food or water.

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