A 73-year-old Carrabelle woman has surrendered 56 cats and 18 dogs to the humane society, after the animals were found to be in need of better care.

According to a news release from the Carrabelle Police Department, the department received a tip April 10 of possible animal neglect at 502 NW Avenue D.

Police Chief Gary Hunnings, accompanied by officers from the sheriff’s office and animal control, and representatives of the Franklin County Humane Society responded to the address, owned by Mary E. Thrash. The release says Thrash admitted to being in possession of an abundance of animals and willingly surrendered 19 of them to the humane society.

On April 11, Hunnings and Deputy Chief Amber Jochim returned with a search warrant of the home in order to locate and evaluate any other animals inside the residence. The inside of the home was found to be in a hazardous state for both animals and humans due to the number of animals living inside.

Thrash willingly surrendered the remaining animals to the humane society. She was issued a notice to appear for confinement of animals without sufficient food, water, exercise and change of air.

The release said many of the 74 animals that Thrash surrendered were in need of medical attention.

The humane society is housing and treating the animals. Shelter Director Karen Martin said all the cats are suffering from upper respiratory infection, fleas, dermatitis, ear mites and intestinal parasites so their medical needs are extensive.  They all still need to be tested, vaccinated and spayed/neutered, Martin said.

The dogs are in better condition physically but behaviorally, most have a ways to go, she said.  They too need medical care, vaccinations, testing and spay/neuter.

The humane society is reaching out to other shelters across the state and is hopeful many will respond to the crisis by in-taking, caring for and re-homing these homeless pets.

If you would like to make a donation toward their care, please go to forgottenpets.org, click on “help” and donate through Pay Pal; or mail a check to Franklin County Humane Society 244 Hwy 65, Eastpoint, FL  32328.

Martin said she is grateful for all of the donations of supplies the shelter has received, but storage space at the shelter is limited. “What we need now are donations of funds to help defer medical costs, which are mounting rapidly,” she said.