Thursday, February 25, 2010

Investigators: Jail time in accused animal hoarder's future

In a special NBC2 investigation, we took you inside the disturbing world of animal hoarding.

Since the story aired Wednesday, we've learned the man investigators say is responsible for the gruesome conditions will serve jail time for animal cruelty.

The unthinkable conditions will send Charles Sharp to jail. Investigators say the animals they pulled from the Fort Myers Shores home in August were emaciated, dirty, and covered in ticks and fleas.

When Lee County Animal Service raided the home, Sharp – who lived there – said he wasn't responsible.

"My roommate lost his foot. He brought in all the dogs," Sharp said.

Adam Leath, with Lee County Animal Services, says that roommate, Bob Tracy, is a known animal hoarder. It was the second time they had confiscated animals from the address.

But when they made this raid, Tracy was hospitalized. Investigators said he had to have his foot amputated after the fifth that the pair was living in infected it.

"You can imagine walking around on that, having an open wound, so it was a sore on his foot that didn't heal," said Leath.

Since the animals were in Sharp's care, he was charged. Now there's a plea agreement on the table, which the State Attorney's Office can't discuss details of.

But Animal Services says it involves jail time and probation. Sharp will also be prohibited him from any contact with animals.

The home has since been condemned..." More & video

Special Report: Animal Hoarders