Woman charged with 38 counts of animal cruelty in alleged puppy mill 

A woman faces 38 counts of animal cruelty after authorities said they discovered an alleged puppy mill in Merritt Island. Many of the dogs found were severely ill, according to deputies.

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office reported a significant deputy presence on Crissafulli Road, where they found 38 puppies living in squalid conditions.

"These dogs, they didn’t have a voice," said Brevard resident Shanae Christian.

Court documents detail the harrowing conditions: dogs with injuries and open wounds, confined to spaces filled with mold, feces, and vomit, and with little to no access to food and water. Sheriff Wayne Ivey took to social media to express his disgust at the conditions he witnessed.

"The biggest thing that I was infuriated about was if you look behind me, you see these igloo-style dog houses, and that’s the only cover these pups had out there," Ivey said in a Facebook video.


Sheriff Ivey also noted the dogs were suffering from the Florida heat. The alleged animal abuse occurred at three Brevard County locations, including two addresses on Crissafulli Road and one on Mustang Lane. 

"It’s a lot of mixed emotions — anger for just knowing that a human being could, you know, cause this kind of cruelty on an animal," said Christian.

Christian and her daughter reported witnessing the abuse for years and had informed law enforcement.

"The dogs were actually living under the floorboards in this house, and what she was doing was breeding the dogs at the Mustang Lane location," Christian explained.

Many of those puppies were living on Crissafulli Road. Regarding the dozens of defenseless dogs, Christian added, "There is a happiness, knowing that there were voices for them that were finally heard."

The Sheriff's Office indicated that more puppies might be rescued from these properties. The rescued dogs are currently being evaluated at Brevard Animal Services. The woman, identified as Cleveland, is being held on a $114,000 bond.