Florida Woman Arrested for Child Neglect, Animal Abuse After Cops Find 300+ Rats In Home

Shannon Marie Morgan, 38, of Beverly Hills, Florida was arrested on 12 charges of animal cruelty and one count of child neglect after authorities responding to her home found it filled with rats, cats, snakes, one dog and one ferret … as well as a “juvenile” in what cops called “deplorable conditions.”

The arrest happened last week after officers responded to an animal cruelty complaint. “Immediately upon entering the residence, Sheriff’s Office personnel were overwhelmed by the pungent smell of ammonia,” the office said in a press release. “They initially observed several cages and glass aquariums containing snakes and rodents but also saw rats and cats running freely in the home. It was blatantly obvious; these animals were deprived of all their basic necessities.”

In an arrest affidavit, officers reported that the “floor was slippery due to the urine and feces” throughout the home, writing that the “ceiling was covered in flies” and the residence was littered with trash. “Moving throughout the house officials were taken aback by the other deplorable conditions such as trash, dirty dishes, and rotten food scattered all throughout the residence, causing more roaches and flies to pervade the area,” the Sheriff’s Office added in their release.

Authorities shared footage of the home to Facebook:

In one bedroom they found two cages, one containing a ferret and another with a dog inside it, with cops saying “both animals were deprived of food and water.” In another room, which was occupied by a juvenile whose name and age has not been released, authorities reported seeing a mattress on the ground, “covered in roaches” — as well as multiple cats which were “actively dismembering a rat.”

The third bedroom contained “approximately 50 rodents in cages in addition to over 300 other rodents roaming freely” — with an officer writing in the arrest affidavit that “rodents had completely taken over control” of the room.

Animal control eventually removed seven cats, one dog, before the house was “secured for further investigation,” which includes the removal for three snakes and the many rodents in question.

Per the affidavit, the defendant said she did not live at the residence anymore, but visited it nightly. She allegedly said she was “aware that it has gotten bad but has not gotten help until today when she called a rodent company” — and added she “did not want to live in the conditions her home was in.”

“Abuse of any kind should not be tolerated,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast in a statement. “The conditions of this residence and the animals in this case were so bad, Sheriff’s Office personnel were cautioned about making entry.”

“Neither children nor animals should ever endure this type of environment,” he added. “It is crucial that our citizens report any possible signs of child or animal neglect. Our Animal Control Officers, deputies and crime scene specialists once again have done a phenomenal job.”

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