Two dogs are recovering after being rescued from a Westside Super 8 Motel on Friday, but five dogs and a cat were found dead in other rooms.
Chance is one of the dogs starved for affection and nearly starved to death. He's gained 4 pounds since last week and is being cared for at Animal Control along with the other dog that survived. That dog was so sick that officials didn't want him to be seen.
Police say 42-year-old Denise Jimenez and her 21-year-old daughter, Seantay Jimenez, (both pictured below) kept the animals in two motel rooms. The two have been arrested on animal cruelty charges.
Nikki Harris, the shelter manager of Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services, spoke about why someone would hoard both live and dead animals.
"Various reasons for this," Harris said. "There's an entire psychology devoted to studying people like that, but in my experience, hoarders have typically been people they thought they were helping animals and get very overwhelmed with the care and don't know what to do, and they think that they're helping the animals when, in fact, they are unable to provide appropriate care of animals."
According to police reports, Denise Jimenez gave her reasoning, saying she and her daughters had been living in the motel for two months, and during that time, one of the animals got cut and eventually died from it. She said shortly thereafter, a second dog died for unknown reasons. She said a cat then died.
Jimenez told police the animals had been dead for a couple of days, and she and her daughter wrapped them in plastic and placed them into a crate. She said she didn't know what to do with them so they kept them in the hotel until they could get rid of them.
Hotel staff did not want to comment.
People at the motel said they knew the family had dogs, they just didn't know there were dead ones in the room.
According to the report, the motel manager said the two rooms the family was using now can't be rented and will cost about $20,000 to repair.
Animal Control officials hope to eventually be able to adopt the two surviving dogs. Chance will go to a foster home next week. Officials said the other dog's future is still unknown.