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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

More than 60 dogs removed from Florida puppy mill's 'deplorable conditions'

Posted By on Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 11:10 AM

  • Photo via DeSoto County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

A puppy mill in DeSoto County was shut down by local police last week.  The sheriff's office reported that they removed over 80 animals from the dog-breeding business Strawberry Farms.

In a post shared to Facebook, the DCSO noted the "deplorable conditions" of the mill, including "urine and feces everywhere" and "no food or water in sight." They were tipped off about the mill after a woman filed a complaint against the business, noting that her puppy lost five pounds while in the business' care.

Further investigation revealed several more complaints, including a report from a veterinarian who refused to spay one of their puppies because of its extreme malnourishment.

One of the business owners, Robert Polk, was charged with 82 counts of neglect. Strawberry Farms co-owner Rose Romano was not at the scene and is being sought by authorities. She faces 82 counts of neglect and two counts of forgery.

Puppy mills like Strawberry Farms are part of a larger economy of sick, mistreated animals that tends to culminate in retail storefronts. Orange County recently made the retail sale of puppies, cats and rabbits illegal to attempt to remove much of the motive behind these mills. That ruling came well after many customers and employees reported horrific conditions within local stores like Petland Waterford Lakes.

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