Nearly 50 dogs removed from Floyd County property

Animals officers in Floyd County removed 48 dogs from a house on Wax Road on Tuesday. Investigators say they learned about the animals because property owners wanted the renter and her dogs gone.

"They were all in good shape," says Jeff Mitchell, director of Public Animals Welfare Services (PAWS). "But, the conditions they were living in there were some filthy conditions. That's what warranted us taking the animals."

The dogs are now at PAWS in Rome. Some of them have skin issues, other have inflections. All have been treated are ready for adoption.

Mitchell believes the dogs are as young as nine weeks and as old as seven years.

He says the dogs' owner, Barbara Winkle, became overwhelmed.

 "She was very cooperative with us. She was relieved we were there. It was a situation, an over-breeding situation."

PAWS is now offering free adoptions for dogs and cats. After the first animal, it will cost $35 for cats and $40 for dogs.

Mitchell says Hurricane Dorian is causing a bit of a challenge in caring for the newly housed dogs.

"Many rescue groups that are normally able to help us are still able to help us, but they may take a day or two because they're out assisting the hurricane dogs, trying to get them to safety. And, rightfully so, they should be."

Winkle faces a charge for unsanitary living conditions, and 44 counts of animal cruelty. Authorities did not charge her for four dogs. Mitchell says those four were well-cared for.

Each count could come with a fine up to $1000 and/or 60 days in jail. A judge will decide.