83 animals removed from North Port home, woman charged with animal cruelty

Posted at 5:27 PM, Apr 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 18:43:26-04

NORTH PORT, Fla — Police arrested a North Port woman and charged her with Aggravated Cruelty to Animals and Abandonment.

Animal Services Officers responded to the home of Shirley Duncan, 55, after receiving a complaint, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

When officers arrived, they discovered an emaciated cat sleeping in its own excrement.
Duncan claimed the cat was suffering from an illness, but could not provide proof of veterinary care. The cat was taken to an animal hospital for treatment, but it had to euthanized.

On Monday, deputies returned to Duncan’s home and removed 55 cats, 23 mice, three ferrets, and two dogs. 

Duncan was arrested and taken to the Sarasota County Jail. 

"I'm not a bad person stop judging me for trying to save cats," said Duncan.

All the animals remain in the custody of Animal Services as the investigation continues. 

Duncan was released Tuesday on $2,000 bond.