Community Seeks Help While Abandoned FL Dog Awaits Rescue

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OCALA, Fla. — Marion County Animal Control has opened an investigation in an attempt to locate the owners of a dog left in an abandoned home since Christmas.

Abigail can be seen barking frantically in the windows of her home while neighbors watch, powerless to free her. They have expressed concern that the dog has no access to food or water. “We all got concerned. They could have some dead animals on their hands,” neighbor Tom Helmer said.

The Helmer family called Animal Services in hopes they could rescue the dog. “Do something right away, because they’re not going to last too long if they’ve lasted all that time before Christmas,” Helmer said.

Despite community concerns, local law calls for a three day notification period before the home is entered. “This is someone’s private property,” Marion County Animal Services spokeswoman Elaine De Iorio said. De Iorio said Animal Services can’t just kick down the door. “If they’re on vacation, if they’re in the hospital, if they’re having someone care for the animal, that’s not abandonment,” De Iorio said. Animal control officials intend to do visual checks from outside the home daily to determine whether the dog faces immediate danger of starvation. “If it’s extremely skinny and could die soon, Animal Services will seize those animals,” De Iorio said.

While officials sort out red tape, neighbors pray the animals can hold on for a few more days until the notification period has expired. “I just can’t see why they would do such a thing,” Helmer said.

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15 thoughts on “Community Seeks Help While Abandoned FL Dog Awaits Rescue”

  1. I’m sorry If I were one of those neighbors I would break in the house to make sure those animals were ok !! I’m happy to hear that they have come together to help the dogs out !! God Bless you all !!

  2. This scenario is becoming way too common place these days and that really upsets me! Last year there were 20+ of a community distressed over abandon dogs and cats locked in homes. Geepers is it so difficult to go to a shelter and put a dog in the drop box?

    Maybe just maybe if our laws were stringent enough people would be deterred from neglecting animals in this manner!

    • Sam—I’m with you there. An animal in distress could die during the 3day waiting period. I think the law should just ASSUME abandonment and let the owners prove otherwise instead of making these animals pay dearly through starvation, neglect, and quite oftentimes, their lives. There was a gentlemen that broke into a house, don’t recall the state, to rescue a dog that had been abandoned and he was then arrested for B&E. This country has to change it’s attitudes and laws to give IMMEDIATE protections to animals that live, breathe, feel, from those harm them through abandonment or neglect,

  3. That’s total bullshit!!!! I bet if it was a “human” child, the door would have been knocked down. That is so freakin wrong. All I need is an address, and I’m on my way. Ocala is about 2 1/2 hours away. Serioulsy, neighbors, it’s dark at night…….what are you waiting for? Let’s just say my kid accitdently hit his baseball into the window, and this dog just busted out…….Hmmmmm.

  4. Why would they do such a thing? “Because they’re idiots.” If my neighbors ever see my dogs abandoned like that, I sure as heck hope they come in… because it probably means I’m dead too!

  5. That is insane to wait for a law to rescue that dog. While these people are talking and waiting, that dog and cat is just going to starve and without water…..what is wrong with everybody there? Bust the window with a brick or something and get them out of the house.


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