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Parvo virus kills Shih Tzus rescued in Hernando

Parvo virus kills Shih Tzus rescued in Hernando

BROOKSVILLE, Florida -- "It is heartbreaking," says Hernando County Animal Control Supervisor Patrick Pace.

The shelter's workers are overwhelmed by a sudden, devastating loss. Half of the 64 adorable Shih Tzu puppies -- first abandoned in Brooksville, and then nursed back to health at the shelter -- have either died right in front of their eyes or had to be euthanized in the past 48-hours.

Photo Gallery: Dozens of neglected dogs found abandoned

The dogs contracted parvo, a highly contagious, fatal, canine disease.

"It's a swift and unforgiving disease that strikes quickly and deadly," says Pace.

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Abandoned Shih Tzus die at shelter

BROOKSVILLE, Florida (AP) - Officials say 29 of 64 abandoned Shih Tzus have died following a virus outbreak at a Hernando County shelter.

Animal Services reported Monday that a parvovirus outbreak caused the deaths. The dogs were found abandoned on a dead-end road in November.

Photo Gallery: Dozens of neglected dogs found abandoned

Officials say the outbreak will delay adoptions of the remaining dogs until after the New Year. 

After the virus was discovered last weekend, all of the dogs at the shelter were vaccinated. Some animals were euthanized to relieve suffering and restrict disease transmission.

Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that affects the digestive system and the heart.

Man robs Spring Hill bank

Man robs Spring Hill bank

Spring Hill, Florida -- Deputies are looking for the man who robbed the SunTrust bank branch at 1170 Mariner Blvd. Friday, Dec. 10.

The man gave a teller a demand note but showed no weapon. He fled on foot. Investigators did not release how much money was taken.

He's described as a white male wearing a black knit cap, a bulky gray hooded sweat shirt, a black turtle neck shirt, dark pants and sunglasses.

The sheriff's office asks anyone who recognizes the man to call the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Arctic front nearing Hernando

Arctic front nearing Hernando

Hernando County - An arctic front is heading to the Bay area, including a Hard Freeze Watch in effect for Hernando and all surrounding counties except Pinellas.

* Lake Wind Advisory in effect this afternoon into the evening. Sustained winds of 20mph likely with higher gusts on area lakes.

* High Surf Advisory in effect this afternoon through Tuesday. 5 to 8 foot surf expected with offshore waves of 10 to possibly 15 feet. Dangerous rip currents likely.

* Small Craft Advisory in effect through Tuesday. Seas build today to 5 - 8 feet then 9 - 12 feet tonight through Monday. Slow improvements into Tuesday.

* Gale Warning in effect for offshore waters out 20 nautical miles and beyond. Winds increase to 25 - 35 kts with gusts over 40 kts. Seas 10 - 15 feet.

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Vaccinate your pets at a discount

Vaccinate your pets at a discount

Brooksville, FL - A low-cost pet vaccination clinic in Brooksville will be offering a variety of shots for cats and dogs from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11 at Tractor Supply, 18741 Cortez Blvd.

All vaccinations will be administered by the veterinarian and documentation will be provided. Rabies shots will run you $6, dog distemper/parvovirus combination shots and cat/kitten distemper shots will be $14, and dog kennel cough/bordatella shots will cost $15.

Only cash or personal checks will be accepted, and all proceeds go to the teaching zoo facility, Project Green Jungle, and elephant survivial programs.

For additional information, call 352-867-7788.

Strawberry farmers water all night to beat season's first freeze

Strawberry farmers water all night to beat season's first freeze

Dover, Florida -- "I feel like it is going to be another one of them years," said Matt Parke, shaking his head as he looked out at his crops at Parkesdale Farms in Dover.

Sprinklers sprayed warm groundwater over the farm's acres of green strawberry plants throughout the night Monday and up until after sunrise Tuesday morning.

The last thing strawberry farmers like Parke want is a repeat of the January freeze that lasted an unprecedented eleven days straight. "Last year, it was a disaster," Parke reflected.

Sadly, this season is off to a similar start. It is the first week of December and farmers are already scrambling to make sure sprinklers and water pipes are working. The reason? As soon as temperatures drop near freezing, they have to water the plants to protect them.

Beheaded, skinned cat found in Brooksville

Beheaded, skinned cat found in Brooksville

Brooksville, Florida - Deputies found a skinned, beheaded cat in a kitchen refrigerator at a home in Brooksville.

Thursday, investigators served a search warrant at the home, which is located on the 800 block of School Street.

Inside, deputies found marijuana, a smoking pipe and 19 penicillin pills, according to the arrest affidavit.

Outside, deputies found nine "pit bull type dogs that were tied up with little to no shelter, no food or water and all dogs appeared to be malnourished and emaciated," according to the arrest affidavit.

George William Outlaw, 55, was arrested and charged with ten counts of animal cruelty.  He also faces drug charges.

Delores Ann Boggs, 34, and William James Outlaw, 56, were also at the house.  They were arrested on drug and other charges.