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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wood, Donna

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 6/3/2010 

 Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Over Capacity - Adds More Dogs to Facility from Another Cruelty Case 

At approximately 5:30 pm, Wednesday, June 2, 2010, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous call regarding a possible animal neglect case at 5000 Baker Dairy Road, Haines City.

Upon arrival, deputies found 49 adult dogs and 13 puppies around the property.  Some of the dogs were chained, some were in metal pens, and some dogs were roaming freely. 

“I’m confident that the call we received yesterday came as a result of the previous case,” Sheriff Grady Judd.  “It was a clear message; we are not going to tolerate animal abuse.  Our Animal Control staff is working around the clock to address this overwhelming influx of abused animals.”  Last week, 261 dogs were seized from a Polk City residence.  That case is on-going.

The dogs taken from the Baker Dairy Road property are suffering from flea infestation, dermatitis, matted fur which contained maggots, ear infections and excessive tarter on the dog’s teeth.  There were several dogs with open wounds.  The resident, 55-year-old James Lynn Odom, DOB 01/21/1955, surrendered 58 of the 62 dogs.  The four remaining dogs were seized and were impounded at Animal Control.  Custody of those animals will be sought through a civil hearing.  Odom was issued a civil citation for 49 counts of Failure to Purchase a License for the dogs.  The fine total was $5,147.00.

This is an ongoing investigation.  The PCSO AC veterinarian assessed 20 dogs as of Thursday afternoon.  Odom currently has 20 counts of Animal Cruelty with additional charges expected.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Section is designed to accommodate 375 animals.  Currently, there are 748 animals at the facility.  Of that total, 551 are dogs with 351 of those dogs originating from Cruelty cases. 

Sheriff Judd issued a plea to local rescue groups regarding 122 animals which can be transferred to an approved Rescue group.

“We are asking the rescue groups who we have worked with before to come to our aid,” said Sheriff Judd.  “We will be open around the clock to ensure that the rescue groups have the opportunity to respond to our plea for assistance.”

Animal Control will extend its hours throughout the weekend beginning today, Thursday, June 3, 2010, and through Sunday, June 5, 2010 to ensure the rescue groups have ample time to react to the  plea for assistance.

There are 19 dogs available to the public for adoption.  For additional information about pets available for adoption, please visit www.polkpets.org.  If you have additional questions about a pet, please call 863.499.2600.  The Animal Control Section facility is located at 7115 De Castro Road, Winter Haven.