Sunday, September 20, 2009

Animals seized in area's largest hording case recovering

The animals that were seized in Marion County’s largest animal cruelty case in recent memory are recovering. The animals’ former Citra owners will likely not fare as well.

Marion County spokeswoman Christy Jergens said Animal Services officials will soon recommend to the State Attorney’s Office charges against the couple that allegedly kept the 432 live animals in horrifically filthy conditions until their rescue last month.

“They have not been arrested but we are planning to go ahead with charges,” Jergens said.

“With so many animals, we’ve been trying to get them all settled in, get them vaccinated. The focus has been on that,” she said.

Along with the living animals at the 7680 NE 192 Pl. home of Ileana Verguizas and Andrew Gonzalo Perez, 15 dead animals were also found.

Some of the animals, which included dogs, cats, goats, quail, chickens, geese, ducks, sheep, rabbits, snakes, parrots and turtles, were found by county investigators to be living in filthy cages and pens, and their fur matted with feces and riddled with fleas. Of the living animals, almost half were kept inside the 2,200 square-foot home..." More