Deputies: Snake, lizard, rabbits among 30 animals abandoned, living in filth
Gregg Burrage , Chris Trenkmann
9:44 PM, May 22, 2013
7:39 AM, May 23, 2013
HOLIDAY - Pasco County sheriff's deputies said they found 30 or more emaciated animals living in filth in a home in Holiday. A strong smell outside led them to find dogs, cats, rabbits, a snake, and a lizard abandoned inside.
Deputies responded to the house at 1011 Hiawatha Place around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday after a neighbor called about a stench coming from the home and numerous flies that could be seen on the windows.
Several hours later, the renter of the house showed up and was questioned by investigators. A sheriff's sergeant said Alicia Nelson was staying at the home, and she faces charges of animal abuse and animal neglect. Around 11 p.m., Nelson went inside the house, turned off the lights, and didn't respond to requests for an interview.
Neighbors said that some of the animals appeared to have eye infections and appeared to be in poor health.
A woman who claimed to be an acquaintance of Nelson said she didn't realize the house was in such poor condition.
"I don't know why she let it get this way," the woman said.
Earlier, a deputy entered the home for a welfare check on the resident and found numerous animals unattended and animal feces are throughout the home.
It appears that they may have been left alone for up to a week.
No arrest has been made, but the investigation continues and charges against Nelson are pending.
The animals have been removed by Pasco County Animal Control.