CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. – A Lecanto woman has been cited on eight counts of animal cruelty and neglect, according to Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.
On Wednesday, February 15, 2023, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputies and animal control officers responded to a residence off South Otis Avenue in Lecanto following an animal cruelty call received by our agency.
The call referenced a person breeding and selling animals that were being kept in an inhumane manner.
Upon arrival, deputies and animal control officers discovered eight dogs being deprived of their necessary sustenance and care, as well as two cats living in these atrocious conditions.
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Deputies noted that while standing outside the residence, they were able to detect a strong odor of urine coming from the inside of the residence. Once inside, personnel observed fecal-filled dog cages and urine-soaked carpets.
Deputies also noticed empty bowls inside the cages depriving the dogs of both food and water. It was determined the best course of action would be to remove all ten animals from the defendant’s care.
When the dogs were brought outside into a brighter atmosphere, their lack of care was even more evident. All the dogs had dried feces on their coats and feet, creating matted fur, and they appeared to be suffering from malnutrition.
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The defendant, 69- year-old Debora Lavoie, was charged with eight counts of animal cruelty/neglect and issued a mandatory court date.
“It is appalling to see so many animal neglect cases within our county,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “I am extremely thankful for our team of animal control officers, who work diligently to better the lives of these helpless and innocent animals. The exceptional staff at the Citrus County Animal Shelter who continuously provide these seized animals with much-needed love, care, and nourishment should also be commended for their tireless efforts.”
Animal Control Officers are available to respond to routine calls for service between 8:00 am & 8:00 pm every day of the week, including holidays.
Emergencies are responded to 24 /7. Service requests should be made to CCSO Communications Center at 352-249-2790 or simply by dialing 9-1-1.
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