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Marion County Animal Services rescues 28 dogs and 18 cats


Marion County News Release

Marion County Animal Services staff worked late into Wednesday night to take custody of 28 dogs and 18 cats that were living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. The animals lived in a Citra-area single-wide mobile home (16552 NE 45th Court) with their owners: Denise Decker, 44, Norman Lock, 45, and Maydine Baldwin.

After receiving a tip about animals in poor condition at that location, animal control officers responded and observed several dogs with significant hair loss outside the home. The owners granted the officers permission to enter the home after a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived. Once inside, officers found fecal matter and urine saturating the floors and furniture.

According to Dr. Martha Zimmerman, DVM, Animal Services’ staff veterinarian, most of the dogs are suffering from sarcoptic mange, hookworms, hair loss and heavy flea infestation, most likely from their living conditions and poor air quality. The cats have ear mites, as well as skin and respiratory issues.

The dogs include toy fox terriers, Chihuahuas and Parson Russell terriers that range in age from 1 day to 4 years, in addition to a 10-year-old German shepherd mix. The cats include domestic short hair and Siamese mixes and range in age from 5 weeks to 2 years.

The animals are now housed at the Marion County Animal Center, where staff is providing medical and nutritional care. The county plans to file a petition for custody of the animals.

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