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Salem Shelter Takes In 29 Dogs After Florida Hoarding Arrest

SALEM (CBS) -- The Northeast Animal Shelter on Highland Avenue has taken in more than two dozen dogs from Florida after a shelter there was overwhelmed with dogs rescued from a hoarder.

Last month in Florida, animal rescuers found 97 neglected and malnourished dogs "crammed into one double-wide trailer," Northeast Animal Shelter Executive Director Randi Cohen said in a prepared statement.

Cohen said the Salem shelter agreed to take 29 dogs from the Florida facility because it was overcrowded and many of the animals were in danger of being euthanized.

"The rescuers are calling it one of the worst animal hoarding cases they've ever seen," she said of the dogs that were found in the trailer. "The owner was arrested and charged with animal cruelty."

Cohen said the shelter needs donations to help pay for food and veterinary care for the Florida dogs, which will be available for adoption beginning Tuesday.

Donations can be made by visiting the Northeast Animal Shelter Web site,

Animal cruelty problems at a Walton County, Fla., home first came to the attention of authorities on July 5, the The Walton Sun reported. On that date, the Walton County Sheriff's Office called the Alaqua Animal Refuge about a horse rescue.

Salem Shelter Dogs
These dogs are among 29 canines taken in at the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem after a hoarding arrest overwhelmed a shelter in Florida. (Credit: Northeast Animal Shelter)

The Alaqua Animal Refuge took custody of four horses that were so malnourished they nearly died. One horse that was left at the property had an eye injury and the owner, Nancy Payne, 49, was given a set amount of time to give the animal veterinary care, according The Walton Sun.

When sheriff officials returned to check on the horse last month, Payne had not taken care of the injured animal and she was arrested and charged with one count of animal cruelty, The Walton Sun reported.

That's when the dogs and the deplorable conditions in which they were living were discovered. Payne now faces more than 100 felony counts of animal cruelty, The Walton Sun reported.

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