Deputies remove 17 dogs from filthy and dilapidated house

By Carrie Weimar, Times Staff Writer
Published February 20, 2008

A Largo woman was charged with animal cruelty after sheriff's deputies removed 17 dogs from her dirty and dilapidated home.

Gloria D. Nettles, 56, was being held for mental evaluation Tuesday under the state's Baker Act. She has been charged with 17 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty.

The dogs - 10 pugs, 6 pekapoos and a Lab mix - were taken to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Tampa Bay.

Marianne Pasha, a spokeswoman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, said the home at 11627 131st St. N was in deplorable condition. The ceiling was caving in and dog feces were scattered through the residence.

The Sheriff's Office was alerted after a deputy went to the home to serve Nettles with civil court documents Tuesday and noticed a foul smell. Concerned about the occupant's welfare, deputies went into the home and found the dogs.

Pasha said the dogs were dirty but did not appear to be malnourished.

"It was the condition of the home that was really terrible," she said.

Nettles willingly surrendered the dogs, said Marissa Weeks, a spokeswoman for the SPCA. The dogs will be evaluated by the SPCA's veterinarians and, if healthy, will be put up for adoption.

County code enforcement has also been advised about the condition of the home.

Carrie Weimar can be reached at cweimar@sptimes.com or 727 445-4151.