Hernando County Animal Control taking requests for meat from dog-hoarder haul


By Frank Fencil | frank.fencil@springhillcourier.com

BROOKSVILLE, Florida — Sick of your wife’s attempts at cooking dinner going to the dogs? Maybe trading that mutton for some mutt will get your jowls drooling again.

Hernando County Animal Control is now taking orders for specific cuts and breeds of meat after the sheriff’s office raided a hoarder’s home and recovered 47 dogs living in squalid conditions.

Animal control does not typically take special requests, but department supervisor Annie Courtman said she decided to offer the service after visiting the National Dog Catcher Coalition Conference in Denver and hearing about similar services available across the country.

“This is becoming more and more common than you’d think,” Courtman said. “We’re able to provide low-cost food in a very poor community, and it gives the inmates that work for us practical training as butchers. It’s win-win unless you’re the dog.”

The meat will be sold at the Spring Hill Regional Airport Flea Market for $2 per pound, but before they can be eaten, the dogs are receiving medical attention. Courtman said any infections or parasites could be passed on to humans who eat the meat and that the county is not prepared for the lawsuit that would follow.

First, though, the dogs will settle into posh new digs. Each has been given a plush towel to either sleep or urinate on, a choice Courtman called “pup’s prerogative.” Once they are clear of disease and can walk or at least drag themselves in the grass, they’ll be allowed to live in a one-acre fenced field, where Courtman said they will spend up to four weeks so that they legally qualify as free range.

Once these animals get their spirits back up, they’ll promptly be destroyed. But don’t worry about ingesting dangerous chemicals typically used to euthanize animals, Courtman said. A county employee will strangle each dog to death with his bare hands.

“That’s really the only sad part about all of this,” Courtman said. “But it’ll be over in three or four minutes, which is only 90 seconds in dog time.”

To reserve meat or request a special cut, call animal control at (352) 796-5062.

Frank Fencil

Frank Fencil is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades' experience. He has uncovered government corruption, toppled dirty police forces and covered two foreign wars as an international correspondent. He chose to return to his native Spring Hill in hopes of giving his hometown the quality watchdog journalism it deserves.

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