FORT RECOVERY, Ohio (Indiana's NewsCenter) – The Mercer County Sheriff's Department is investigating a couple they say had more than 150 dogs on their property, but the owners told Indiana's NewsCenter a very different story.
Judy and Bob Briner say there were less than 100 dogs, but still admit there were far too many to take care of.
On Wednesday, officers took 19 dogs from the property on State Route 49 in Fort Recovery. Officers say the dogs included 7 young puppies and their mother. Eight other dogs were euthanized, because officers say they were too ill.
Judy Briner tells Indiana's NewsCenter that the sick dogs had a skin condition that they were trying to treat. She says a few of the puppies were also in poor health, because their parents were brother and sister.
Briner also says that she and her husband love all of their pets and work hard to keep them well fed. She says the dogs are let out at least twice a day for exercise.
However, Briner admits that as she and husband get older, taking care of so many dogs has become a concern. She says they always attempt to find good homes for the dogs, but the numbers have quickly gotten out of hand.
"They were just getting too much for us, and sometimes at night we'd be up all night. It just broke our hearts, because we couldn't find a home for them. We just ran out of putting it in the paper and calling people and everything. They kept getting bigger and bigger and more attached to us and us to them."
Briner says she reached out to a woman at the Randolph County SPCA for help spaying and neutering some of the animals. She says she also wanted help finding homes for some of them. Briner says that woman called police.
Deputies say they'll file charges against the couple in an attempt to keep the number of animals on the property down, but Briner says she's ready to go to court to keep some of them. She says although she would like to keep some dogs, she is hopeful the rest will be placed in good homes.
"I'm an animal lover and I just want them to have a good home. I know I can't afford it," says Briner. "I just want them to have a good home. That's all I want."
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