A 65-year-old St. Lucie County woman was arrested Monday and charged with 28 counts of animal cruelty, according to St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara.
Detectives were notified of Beverly Louise Shott's home in the 3500 block of Seminole Road and informed that several dogs were living in filthy conditions.
"The conditions in which Shott was living and raising these animals was deplorable," said Sheriff Ken J. Mascara. "Animal feces was caked into the rugs, rats were roaming the house and 28 mature dogs and puppies were running free in the home. After examination by a veterinarian, it was determined that all of the dogs were infested with fleas and worms."
Shott was breeding the dogs at her home and then selling them through a business she owned, Sheriff Mascara said. The business is Discount Tackle off of Old Dixie Highway in Fort Pierce.
Employees at a neighboring business say she occasionally had a couple dachshunds with her at the store. They never suspected so many were living at home. However, employees say they knew she was selling the dogs. They say she had signs posted along US 1 advertising the dog sales. They have since been removed.
According to the Sheriff, the dogs were seized by Animal Care & Control and turned over to the St. Lucie County Humane Society pending the outcome of the case and civil seizure process.
Shott was booked into the St. Lucie County Jail on $28,000 bond. She posted bail Monday evening.
The St. Lucie County Humane Society says it will be at least 30 days until they will know if the dogs will be adopted out.