Charges dropped against accused animal hoarder

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 10:06 pm | Updated: 2:21 pm, Wed Jan 23, 2013.

VENICE - Charges have been dropped against a Venice couple accused of hoarding hundreds of dogs on their property.

Last summer, Sarasota County authorities removed 263 dogs from Bernard and Donna Faircloth's home. The dogs had been living in cages, stacked on top of each other, in the backyard.

Authorities charged Donna Faircloth with animal torment, animal abandonment, and unlawful disposal of a dead animal. But according to court documents, those charges were all dropped.

Bernard Faircloth reportedly said his wife's hoarding got out of control because she was depressed.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • grandma posted at 4:34 pm on Tue, Jan 22, 2013.

    grandma Posts: 1

    why didnt the husband do anything maybe he should have been charged and she should have been treatment

  • wscott posted at 10:08 am on Tue, Jan 22, 2013.

    wscott Posts: 5

    The head of animal services has never been proactive or interested in stopping the insanity! he's more concerned with job security....i called Animal Services about a woman selling boxer puppies by the side of the road...big sign etc. ...deputy went by , didn't see sign but had no idea how old a puppy needed to be to be adopted, sold or acquired and she'd been with them 1.5 years!! i told her that into 8 weeks of age, and according to the seller these pups were "6 weeks old, too young for vaccinations and came from Texas, never saw a vet" and she gave me their address.The sign was right out front the address......Animal Services did nothing but stop by the house after 19 calls from me, the homeowner said i had it wrong and they left. Nothing was done and I was made to feel like the criminal. They wanted me to come fill out a report so the "puppy broker" would have access to all MY information. Left Officer Coke a message-we'll see if all the Puppy Millers info is public!!

  • wscott posted at 9:37 am on Tue, Jan 22, 2013.

    wscott Posts: 5

    anyone willing to go to the next commissioners meeting and ask why?

  • wscott posted at 9:34 am on Tue, Jan 22, 2013.

    wscott Posts: 5

    Call Sarasota Animal Services 941-861-8500 or 941-361-1201 and ask why??? there's more to this story! but taxpayers and rescues pick up the tab! They'd just as soon put them down! The Top Rescue Organziations can't say anything or they'll be blacklisted and won't be allowed to pul!! these people were also allowed to keep a number of dogs and will start again so call!! ASK WHY?? if you're a tax payer ask why your tax money is used to clean up- would it be used to clean up a toxic waste site, would it be used to clean up another type of business? Who's monitoring these people? Would they allow a Volunteer deputy status in order to make sure this does not happen? Did they require spay/neutering of the animals they were allowed to keep?

  • jotony25 posted at 9:27 am on Tue, Jan 22, 2013.

    jotony25 Posts: 1

    Someone needs to explain how they can not be responsible for the thousands of dollars rescues spent to save, vet, rehab, foster and find homes for these abused and neglected creatures. At the very least, a fine large enough to reimburse these organizations should have been levied. Never ever again should they be permitted to have any time of an animal. Mental illness can be treated, abuse of animals should not be taken so lightly. The result of this case is disturbing to say the least. We all need to hear from the judge who rendered this insane verdict.

  • lucky lady posted at 8:59 pm on Mon, Jan 21, 2013.

    lucky lady Posts: 1

    It sounds like the Florida laws have to be changed because they sound non existant to animal cruelty. Only the people who live in Florida can sign a petition to strengthen these laws. This is not right.....unfortunately there are many states similar to Florida law. Money was wasted with them going to court and all they got was a slap on the hand....they will just go and do it again. It should be that they never are allowed to have an animal again. Is this one of the cases that was seen on TV last year where animal control went in and removed 100's of dogs from their pens? Hours spent saving some of the dogs, vet bills ith the public asking to pay for them...why not the people who made these dogs sick and starving? Are the courts in Florida so lame that they don't recognize animal cruelty? What is the matter with the judges to let something like this get by?

  • mom2two posted at 9:18 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    mom2two Posts: 1

    This is so wrong. Hundreds of dollars were spent rehabbing those dogs to get them healthy and into good homes. They were left in their own filth in hot Florida sun, in chicken coops. and she has all charges dropped. Unbelievable! At the very least, she should be made to reimburse every rescue that stepped forth to help those dogs and she should never be allowed to own another pet.

  • rescuer posted at 7:38 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    rescuer Posts: 1

    He should have been charged for letting it get this bad and no way should they have gotten away with it. They should have a stipulation to never own dogs again anyway.... Restitution should be given to all the rescue groups who took care of the dogs, got them back to HEALTHY dogs. I am with something is fishy here... who got paid off or who new who....

  • Quazi posted at 10:11 am on Thu, Jan 10, 2013.

    Quazi Posts: 4

    Why were the charges dropped? I would expect at least some charges and a settlement. Animal rescue organizations spent a lot on $ on re-homing these animals.

  • dcahillh posted at 10:57 pm on Wed, Jan 9, 2013.

    dcahillh Posts: 1

    Something wrong here....its just not right
    How can charges be dropped


Right Now











Send your photos & videos to and you could be featured on ABC 7 & our website.