Lake County Animal Services under fire after puppies die



LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Animal rescue groups are speaking out after they said several puppies died because of how they were handled at Lake County Animal Services.

All dogs and cats that come into the animal services shelter are supposed to be treated for different types of worms. But someone dropped off the puppies in an overnight kennel and they weren't given the treatment, according to officials. Six of the puppies died after being turned over to a rescue group.

"It appears the employee that made the decision was relatively one of our newer employees and just made a mistake," Community Safety Director Brian Sheahan said.

Elizabeth Williams visits the shelter often and is familiar with issues the agency has had in the past.

"I come here pretty often," Williams said. "They do have issues."

Complaints from activists made their way to Lake County commissioners and some demanded answers from county manager David Heath.

In an email, Heath responded to a commissioner and said "if the necessary procedures are not in place/have not been followed, we need to take corrective action immediately."

According to Sheahan, two staff members will now be verifying that vaccines and deworming were done.

The current director of animal services is leaving soon. She's the second director to resign, partly due to the workload.

"They're doing the best they can with their funding. They don't have enough funding and that's pretty much what it comes down to," Williams said.

In May, the Lake County Sheriff's Office will release a proposal to take over operations of animal services.