NORTH PORT (FOX 13) - Amy Lovering started out with good intentions, but Sarasota County deputies said she was in over her head trying to care for 19 Chihuahua-mix dogs.
Lovering was arrested after deputies found the dogs living in bad conditions.
"People think they can handle that amount of animals," said Lt.Dan Tutko. "She was overwhelmed, wasn't able to provide the proper care and treatment of those animals...The animals had fleas. They were dirty. Their nails were very long. Almost curled over. All of them suffered from internal parasites."
Lieutenant Dan Tutko with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said someone called animal services after a few of her dogs were found running loose in North Port. When officers arrived they found more dogs in a secluded area.
"They were basically being kept in wire crates and they were open on the top. There was no sides to them that would provide proper shelter. The floor was just dirt," said Lt.Tutko.
Lovering initially told deputies she thought this was a safe and appropriate environment where she could leave her dogs at, but after deputies read her the definition of a shelter under Sarasota County guidelines, she agreed she had not taken care of them.
"You can't provide care for those animals when you're not there. In this case, she wasn't there a majority of the time," said Lt.Tutko.
Just a few dogs remain at animal services. They are undergoing treatments, but each already has a new home waiting for them.
As for Lovering, she was not supposed to have these dogs. She was on probation from Tennessee after facing similar charges. She told deputies she was rescuing the dogs, but deputies say it was more like a hoarding situation.
"They think that they're providing the care and treatment that's provided, but on closer look they're not," said Lt.Tutko.