Valerie Edgington’s “children” are coming home.
It might just be a temporary stop for some of Edgington’s furry children — the 21 dogs who have cute names like Punkie and Flash — but it’s a long way from the dog pound where the pooches have lived since March.
Orange County authorities impounded 26 of Edgington’s dogs, saying they were abandoned and neglected. Five of the dogs died or were euthanized because of health problems while impounded, but the remaining dogs faced being euthanized because animal control authorities said they were too sickly to be adopted.
During the past six months, Eric Johnson Law attorneys have been working on a deal that would get the dogs released instead of killed. The agreement signed late last week releases all 21 dogs to Edgington, but it only allows her to keep four dogs. She has 60 days to find new homes for the rest of the dogs.
Orlando attorney Steve Mason said Edgington is looking for good homes for the dogs, which are mostly chow mixes, he said.
“It makes you feel better that we saved the dogs,” Mason said, who was representing Edgington for free. “It’s a lot better than the alternative.”
Orange County Animal Services confiscated the dogs March 18, saying Edgington neglected and abandoned the dogs on a remote piece of property just east of Bithlo off State Road 50 near State Road 520.
According to an Animal Services report, the dogs were sitting in their own urine and feces. Some of the dogs had runny eyes, sores and skin conditions. All were thin, and some had protruding ribs.
Edgington, who works sporadically doing odd jobs at a local flea market, couldn’t afford the thousands of dollars that had accrued in boarding fees and fines. She said she never neglected or abandoned her dogs.
Now, an enthusiastic Edgington is scheduled to pick up her first load of dogs on Thursday and cart them off to a new temporary home.
“She’s very happy,” Mason said. “She would never abandon or hurt them.”