A Florida woman is arrested after police say she found a child and several animals living in appalling conditions including feces, bugs and garbage.
Citrus County, Fla., police said they responded to a call alleging animal cruelty at the home of 38-year-old Shannon Marie Morgan on Wednesday, WTVT-TV reported.
When officers from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene, they were overwhelmed by the smell of ammonia in the home and found several cages and glass aquariums containing snakes and rodents, as well as free-roaming rats and cats roaming the home.
Authorities say the animals were deprived of basic necessities and that faeces and urine in the house and cages have led to infestations of cockroaches and other insects.
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Adding to the misery at the hands of the animals, authorities said trash, dirty dishes and rotten food were strewn throughout the home, which also attracted various insects.
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In one bedroom, officers found a ferret and dog in cages too small for the animals, and in another bedroom found a small child surrounded by bug-infested trash on the floor and mattress.
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Investigators also say they found blood on the floor of a bedroom caused by a cat eating one of the rats.
Authorities said more than 50 rats were found in cages, with about 300 rats roaming free.
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Seven cats, a dog and a ferret were removed from the home and the home was secured to facilitate removal of the remaining animals.
Morgan was arrested on 12 counts of animal cruelty and one count of child neglect with a total bail of $26,000.
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“Abuse of any kind should not be tolerated,” Sheriff Mike Prendergast said of the incident. “The conditions of this residence and the animals in this case were so poor that Sheriff’s Office personnel were warned not to enter.” Neither children nor animals should ever endure this kind of environment. It is critical that our citizens report any possible signs of child or animal neglect. Our animal welfare officers, MPs and crime scene specialists have once again done a phenomenal job.”