DANIA BEACH, Fla. – Sometimes it’s hard to stay away from cute puppies, especially those expensive and elusive French Bulldogs that are posted all over Instagram, Craigslist and multiple social media platforms.
But before spending your money on those adorable faces, customers are advised to do some research and know where that animal is coming from and if the animal is properly cared for.
Local 10 News anchor Jacey Birch was told that in order to protect the welfare of dogs and cats within our community and to protect consumers who buy or adopt puppies and kittens from breeders, Broward County requires a permit in order to breed, stud or sell dogs, cats, puppies and kittens within the county.
Local 10 News obtained 72 photos of 21 dogs, mostly French Bulldogs, that were piled in cages in an apparent breeding situation.
Some of the photos showed crates being stacked on top of each other with dogs inside that had no apparent access to water.
The photos also revealed food bowls that were flipped over and empty, and piles of urine and feces underneath each crate.
Robert Adrian, of Dania Beach, who lives down the street from the apparent backyard breeder, told Local 10 News that he hears those dogs barking all the time.
“I don’t like it, nobody likes it,” said Adrian. “I am working here a lot and a lot of people come by and talk to me about it and nobody likes this. But they say they don’t do that, that’s the thing, we’re fighting with the people, but they say they don’t do that.”
A call to Crime Stoppers and a visit from the Broward Sheriff’s Office led to an investigation by Broward County Animal Services.
“When we stepped in, we did find that there were several animals on the property and it was indicative of a breeding situation,” said Field Services Animal Care Supervisor Phillip Goen.
After seven citations and 42 warnings later, the breeder, later identified as Porsche Darden, racked up some hefty fines for breaking county ordinances.
Birch asked Goen if Darden had a breeder’s license and if there was animal cruelty going on at the property.
“That location did not have a breeders permit,” Goen replied. “There were some things that were noted that were in violation of our manner of keeping, so it’s a step below animal cruelty.”
Local 10 News went to the home of Darden to speak to her, but the house was empty and cleaned out.
Cages were seen overflowing in the trash bins and there wasn’t a bark to be heard anywhere.
Birch advises others to do their homework when looking to bring a furry friend home.
“As (an) animal advocate, I always say, ‘adopt don’t shop.’ Go to rescue groups and organizations, but if you have to use a breeder, you want a specific dog, do your research, your homework, and at the bare minimum, make sure they have a breeder’s license, “said Birch.
“Broward County Code of Ordinances requires that anyone breeding, whether it’s an accidental litter or a hobby breeder or commercial breeder, you are required to have a breeders permit prior to the breeding of the animals,” Goen added.
Darden later admitted to breeding and selling her dogs on Instagram and by word of mouth, but Local 10 News was unable to locate her.
Her neighbors say she won’t be missed.
“Everybody is happy in the community if they are gone from here,” said Adrian.
“If she’s gone, then we will make every effort to try and locate where she went, track down where she went, just for any sort of follow-up to make sure that we’re not just relocating an operation from one situation to another,” said Goen.
The county will be following up with Darden regarding the unsanitary conditions, number of animals and transferred ownership.
Local 10 News was able to speak to Darden on the phone and she said the whole thing was blown out of proportion.
Anyone that is looking for a dog should know Broward County requires the breeder permit to be listed on the advertisement.
Broward County Animal Services told Local 10 News that you can confirm a breeder’s license with them too.