Animal Services caring for dozens of cats removed from home | News
TAMPA, Florida - Dozens of cats and kittens are being cared for at the Hillsborough County Animal Services, after they were removed from a home Thursday.
According to animal services officials, most of the 32 cats are in good general health and are being treated for fleas and upper respiratory infections.
The cats were removed from a house along Annette Avenue, when deputies went to serve an eviction notice on the foreclosed home. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, deputies walked in to the stench of cat urine and feces, with the animals running loose inside. Investigators said they also found a total of 22 dead cats, including 15 put in a freezer.
James Hopkins was arrested and made his first appearance in court Friday. The 66-year-old is being held on $2,000 bond and charged with one count of Animal Cruelty and 20 counts of Unlawful Confinement of an Animal. It's believed he was squatting in the home.
Animal Services officials said an emergency hearing will be held next week to gain custody of the cats. If that goes through, the animals should be ready for adoption within a few weeks.
This is the third major case of animal cruelty to be discovered in the Bay area this week. On Wednesday, 50 cats and three dogs were found inside a U-Haul trailer that was abandoned outside a Spring Hill Publix. Most of the cats had to be euthanized and the owner, 50-year-old Frances Terry Evans, was arrested.
Then on Thursday, dozens of animals were removed from a home in Holiday. Charges are pending in that case.