WATCH: Lakeland dogs rescued from high water infested with fire ants

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Animal control and neighbors rescued several dogs who were left alone in Lakeland during Hurricane Irma on Monday.

News Channel 8 reporter Melissa Marino and her photographer were out getting footage of flooding in Polk County when they found neighbors and animal control officers trying to rescue the dogs. At least four were in a kennel flooded with water up to their chests. Another was stuck on a picnic table.

At least four were in a kennel flooded with water up to their chests. Another was stuck on a picnic table. The owner of the home evacuated Sunday because of Hurricane Irma.

Animal control originally tried to get into the water to rescue the dogs, but encountered islands of fire ants. There was also concern about water moccasins.

The officers then said they had to follow local ordinances and would have to wait 24 hours to rescue the animals.

About a half an hour later, the animal control officers decided they would rescue the dogs because there was more rain on the way.

Neighbors tell us they tried to rescue the dogs on Sunday night, but when they got them out of the cages, they ganged up on one dog so they had to put them back.

The owners now have 4-7 days minimum to pick up the five dogs.

Before the rescue, the dogs could be heard crying and whining, begging for help. There was no word on the last time they were fed.

Concerned citizens following the story on WFLA and Facebook live showed up to the home with water, treats and food for the dogs as the rescue happened. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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