A cute and cuddly pack of Yorkshire terriers, rescued from a pair of puppy mills earlier this month are going up for adoption this week in Hillsborough County.
The first batch of 24 Yorkies, ranging in age from 8 weeks to 6 years, will be available at the Hillsborough County Animal Services shelter on Falkenburg Road on Thursday. The shelter opens at 10 a.m. and the dogs will be handed over to people with approved applications, first come, first served.
Hillsborough County residents will get the first right of refusals, said animal services spokeswoman Marti Ryan.
"Hillsborough County tax dollars paid for us to rescue these animals," she said.
The dogs were part of two raids last week in which 62 Yorkshire terriers and one aging German shepherd mix were seized at two feces-spattered and filthy locations in Seffner and Tampa, authorities said.
The breeders sold the dogs for up to $1,000 each, Ryan said. Most required veterinary care after they were confiscated, she said.
The investigation is ongoing and no one has been charged, she said. The ownership of the dogs up for adoption this week, including a dozen or so that will be available at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay on Friday, were not being contested by the breeders, Ryan said.
Potential adopters must go through a screening process, which includes approval of their application. The paperwork can be downloaded from the animal services Web site at www.hillsboroughcounty.org/animalservices.
Adopters can fill out the application form and they must bring it into the shelter beforehand, she said, for approval. They also must bring photo identification, proof of current address and renters must bring in their lease agreement saying pets are allowed where they live. If the adopters have other pets at home, they must show proof of vaccinations.
The cost of adopting a dog is less than $100. That pays for the adoption fee, spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and an implanted microchip.
She said people interested in adopting a dog should not call the shelter, but rather download the application. To be approved, a potential adopter must show up in person, she said.
None of the dogs seized have been euthanized, Ryan said. They are in poor health or are nursing mothers or puppies, she said and they may be adopted out at a later date.
On Thursday morning, she said, "There are no shortcuts. People will just have to get in line. Dozens of people already have gotten applications and had them approved.
"This will be a celebration as always," she said. "We work very hard for all our animals and we are very proud to assist in finding these animals a home that they deserve."