40+ cats found in feces, urine-ridden home

Posted at 12:44 AM, Oct 02, 2015

Siblings living in Citrus County are accused of neglecting 40+ cats, forcing them to live in a home covered in inches of feces and urine, deputies say.

Wayne Dennis, 50, and Diane Dennis, 55, of 4774 North Redwood Lane in Hernando, are each facing animal cruelty charges.

According to deputies, there were 43 cats living in the home and not one of them had received rabies vaccines nor seen a veterinarian.

Deputies say when they questioned the siblings, both had animal feces stuck to their shoes and on one of their canes.

An arrest affidavit reports that when asked if any of the cats had died, Diane reportedly told them she held one cat while it dead in her bed last week.  When asked where the cat was now, Diane allegedly told deputies the cat was still in the bed.  Deputies found the deceased cat and removed it.

In addition, another cat was found dead under a cabinet.

According to the arrest affidavit, Diane told deputies, the tabby cat had passed away that morning and had been "arguing with one of the other sick cats that had been seized about who was going to die first."

Due to the condition of the home and the flea infestation, a hazmat team was called to the scene and the home was aerated.

Animal control officers had to wear protective gear for safety purposes before entering the home.

According to deputies, the smell of urine and feces was so strong it may it nearly impossible to breath.

Deputies report there was little to no furniture in the home, however, there were a number of cardboard boxes stacked in various places. 

In the bathroom, deputies found a garden tub with at least six inches of feces inside.  Feces were also found in the shower and across the floor.

Animal control seized all the animals.

Some of the cats needed to receive medical treatment at the scene, deputies say.

According to deputies, the siblings admitted they only fed the cats dog food and tried using K-9 flea medication.

Both are being held on $6,000 bond.

Deputies say the siblings moved to Hernando from Marion County three months ago.  At the time, the siblings reportedly believed they had moved with just 20 cats.