A Florida woman is under arrest after police say they found a child and several animals living in squalid conditions that included feces, bugs and litter.
Police in Citrus County, Florida, said they responded to an animal cruelty call at the home of 38-year-old Shannon Marie Morgan on Wednesday. WTVT-TV reported.
When authorities from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene, they were overwhelmed by the smell of ammonia inside the home and found several glass cages and aquariums housing snakes and rodents. as well as rats and cats on the loose, running around the house.
Authorities say the animals had been deprived of basic necessities and feces and urine in the house and cages had caused an infestation of cockroaches and other insects.
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In addition to the misery of the animals, authorities say that garbage, dirty dishes and rotting food were strewn throughout the house, which also attracted various insects.
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In one bedroom, officers found a ferret and a dog in cages too small for animals and found a small child in another bedroom who was 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 around 300 rats roaming freely.
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Seven cats, a dog and a ferret have been removed from the home and the home has been secured to facilitate the removal of the remaining animals.
Morgan was arrested on 12 counts of animal cruelty and one count of child neglect with a total bond of $26,000.
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“No abuse of any kind should 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 against entering. Neither children nor animals should ever endure this type of environment. It is crucial that our citizens report any possible signs of child or animal neglect. Our animal control officers, deputies and crime scene specialists have once again done a phenomenal job.”