Deputies and animal control officers are investigating a severe case of animal abuse and cruelty in suburban Fort Pierce, according to the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.
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Sheriff Ken Mascara said St. Lucie County Animal Control received an anonymous tip Thursday morning about more than a dozen animals in distress at a property in the 2400 block of S. 38th Street.
Authorities arrived on scene and found the animals in a pen outside in the heat with no water or shade.
"Animal control did respond and immediately contacted us saying it was a severe case of animal abuse," Sheriff Mascara said.
The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office said two dogs died, and 14 adult dogs and seven puppies were seized, along with one pig. The dogs are mixed breeds, including German Shepherds and Shih Tzus.
Sheriff Mascara said the surviving animals are in severe stages of malnutrition and heat exhaustion.
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Some of dogs have been brought to the Humane Society of St. Lucie County, according to Executive Director David Robertson.
"We're gonna get them set up here, give them beds and water and food," said Robertson. "We're gonna make sure none of them are dehydrated, and get a good meal and are fed, and we'll work from there."
Robertson added the animals are a variety of breeds, and it'll take time to determine if and when the dogs can be adopted.
Sheriff Mascara said it's very likely criminal charges will be filed against the owner of the property, and some citations may also be issued.
About 15 dogs rescued from a home in Fort Pierce. 2 dogs have died according to deputies with the St Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators received a tip this morning that the dogs were in enclosures in the backyard in the heat with no water. @WPTV pic.twitter.com/lioC1jmHQH
— Michelle Quesada (@M_Quesada) May 30, 2019
This is a developing story. Stay with WPTV for updates.