Hillsborough Animal Services busts case of animal hoarding

They were brought into Hillsborough County animal services with varying conditions.

Some had respiratory infections, some had flea problems, and others were fine.

32 of them in all, cats that animal services say survived being stuck in what they call yet another example of cat hoarding.

While the 32 may have made it out alive, Hillsborough County deputies say they found something even more alarming: 22 cats found frozen and individually wrapped in the freezer.

James Hopkins is being charged with one count of animal cruelty and 20 ounce of improper confinement

Neighbor Kevin Bell has lived across from the home near Nebraska and Linebaugh for some years now, but refuses to get too close.

"It's like nothing I've ever smelled before.It's just an overpowering stench," he says.

Empty bags of cat food share the lawn with all sorts of junk, and trash fills up the windows.

Deputies say Hopkins was being evicted by his landowner, and when he knew they were coming with authorities, they say he stuffed 32 cats into four small kennels and tried to hide them in the bushes.

He was eventually taken in, and is being held in the Hillsborough County jail on bond.

The surviving cats are at animal services and healing, and they say once they're better, they'll be made available for adoption.

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