Pups rescued from Florida puppy mill are in need of supplies

Nearly 60 dogs found in “deplorable conditions”

Huskies rescued from a DeSoto County dog breeder. (Courtesy: DeSoto County Sheriff's Office)

DESTOTO COUNTY, Fla. – Two people are behind bars, following the discovery of a puppy mill in DeSoto County.

Rose Romano, the owner of “Strawberry Farms… a Husky Paradise " was arrested in Salem, VA. The DeSoto County Sheriff’s office said Romano is awaiting extradition to Florida to face a judge.

Romano’s husband, Robert Polk, was arrested at the scene and faces 82 counts of neglect.

DeSoto County Sheriff’s deputies received a complaint from a customer of the business late last month, expressing concern about the condition of her puppy who lost five pounds while under the care of the owner of the business, Rose Romano.

An investigation by sheriff’s deputies also found complaints from previous employees, arrests out of St. Petersburg and even a letter from a local veterinarian who had to decline spaying one puppy because “she had wounds on her face… no palpable fat… ribs, vertebrae and pelvic bones easily visible.”

Last week, deputies and DeSoto County Animal Control officials seized 39 adult dogs, 19 puppies and 26 other animals from deplorable conditions. According to deputies, there was no food or water in sight and there was feces and urine everywhere.

The dogs are being cared for at DeSoto Animal Control and volunteers are asking the community for the following donations:

  • Science Diet dog food
  • Nylabones
  • Kong toys
  • Milk bone treats
  • Clean/new, thick blankets
  • Bleach
  • Liquid laundry detergent

Items can be sent to:

DeSoto County Animal Control

2048 NE McKay Street

Arcadia, FL 34266


About the Author:

Veronica Crespo writes for Local10.com and also oversees the Español section of the website. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism and Spanish.