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Animal welfare advocates want to know why county left neglected dogs at property

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There's a change.org petition circulating right now asking the county to remove "more than a half dozen dogs" from squalid conditions after the Orange County Sheriff's Department and Orange County Animal Services were called to a Winter Garden home 12 times in the past four years.

On July 23, law enforcement officers removed one dog – a pit bull named Pike, who was suffering from an infection and wounds to his head and face, which were so severe that he was later euthanized – after visiting the property and finding dogs with both fresh and healed wounds, dogs with sores on their bodies and one dog with no access to food or water. The animal control officer noted that "several dogs are in need of vet care and the neglect issues need to be further addressed," but according to the animal services report, the animal control officer on the scene was instructed by a supervisor to remove only one dog from the property – the dog with severe wounds to his jaws and face – until the Orange County Sheriff's Office obtains warrants to seize more animals.

The petition is asking the county to take more proactive steps to get the remaining dogs off the property. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs' office responded on Aug. 8, saying that the dog owners have complied with police warnings in follow-up visits and found the dogs' wounds inconsistent with fighting. The case is still under review with Orange County Sheriff's Office as of press time.

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