New homes have been found for about half of the 60-plus dogs found inside a Hudson home Sunday, according to Pasco County officials.
A search warrant was issued Monday morning allowing Pasco County Animal Services and code enforcement members to enter the home on Montour Drive.
“They’re actually in pretty good condition,” said Mike Shumate, manager of Pasco County Animals Services. “We didn’t classify it as a hoarding case or anything like that; it’s just that there are more animals there than they can take care of.”
Shumate said the dogs were all in crates in a barn on the property.
About 66 dogs, two small possums known as sugar gliders, eight miniature horses, five full-sized horses and two mules were at the home, Shumate said.
Several local rescue groups have taken about 30 dogs, and Pasco Animal Services is helping to connect the family with other entities that can take additional dogs, Shumate said.
About 1:30 p.m. Sunday, deputies from the Pasco Sheriff’s Office responded to a possible domestic dispute call at the home on Montour Drive. Neighbors said two women inside the home were yelling at each other over the sounds of a loud dog barking, the sheriff’s office said.
Deputies discovered there were numerous animals on the property and alerted animal services as well as code enforcement.
On Sunday, the owner of the home, Joseph Romero, and his daughter, Jolynn Romero, refused to allow deputies, code enforcement officials or animal services members inside the home to inspect the animals.
A code enforcement report stated: “The garage was filled with feces, urine and there was a very strong odor coming out of the primary structure, which was a single floor brick home. This odor also was consistent with feces and urine from K-9’s.”
Jolynn Romero told authorities the dogs belong to her and that the family was running a non-profit animal rescue service.
Sleepy Hollow Dog Rescue, Inc., is listed with the family’s Montour Drive address and has been operating for a year.
Shumate said the family purchased a large piece of property in North Carolina and moved the dogs there in May. But a recent matter involving law enforcement in North Carolina forced the family to move the dogs back to Florida. Shumate said the Romeos were given 24 hours to have the dogs off the North Carolina property.
This is the first time all of the animals have been on the Montour Drive land at once, Shumate said. Prior to moving to North Carolina, the family had the dogs at other rescues in the area.