Words for our Volunteers from Pam Perry, Animal Abuse Investigation Mgr of HCAS
Proud of the HCAS team. Lots of animals lives saved today. Now the next stage begins in these two cases. Criminal and civil. We will also need help at the shelter. We have over 80 Investigation animals to care for as well as all the other animals in our care.
Published: March 22, 2012
TAMPA – Hillsborough County authorities seized 48 dogs today from a mobile home in Thonotosassa, where a woman said she was running a small-dog rescue operation.
Mary Grettenberger, 11902 Fort King Hwy., Thonotosassa, claimed she was running Heart to Heart Small Dog Rescue, according to Marti Ryan, spokeswoman for Hillsborough County Animal Services.
The dogs, mostly Chihuahuas and terriers, were kept in airline carriers stacked two high and are suffering from eye, skin and dental disorders. Ryan also said some were overfed, while others were underfed.
Ryan added that Grettenberger did not see the problem with the dogs’ condition.
“The veterinarians have been very busy today,” said Ryan.
The case was initiated by an anonymous caller who was concerned about the welfare of the animals and Grettenberger, Ryan said.
Grettenberger claimed to be a foster place for other groups, which are not under investigation, Ryan said.
Charges are being compiled against Grettenberger.
Investigators found the floor of Grettenberger’s mobile home so soft they were concerned it would give way, Ryan said, adding that in these cases the floor is moist from pet urine.
Ryan said she was told that some of the animals had come from out of state to prevent them from being euthanized.
She said the shelter does not have legal custody of the animals but is requesting an emergency hearing to obtain it. She hoped to have the animals ready for adoption at the shelter’s adoptathon, scheduled for April 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the shelter, 440 Falkenburg Road.
In another case, an investigator checked a complaint of noise and barking at 8723 Del Ray Court. The investigator found two dogs emaciated and dehydrated. The larger of the two had begun to chew a hole in the door. The investigators also found three rats in a cage, and another deceased animal in a separate cage.
Ryan said it looked as if the tenant had not been there for weeks.