A North Port man has been charged in a severe case of animal cruelty.
Andrew Gerberich, 60, is accused of failing to adequately feed as many as 35 cats at his home at 5004 White Ibis Drive, according to Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said they found the animals on Friday living in awful conditions. Cat feces, urine and garbage were strewn through the home.
To eat, some had resorted to what deputies describe as cannibalism.
Twenty-six cats were removed from the home. Deputies said they had infections from a lack of fresh air and food. Nine dead cats were also removed, most of them reduce to skeletal remains.
Gerberich said he came to own the cats while running a rescue but he couldn’t care for them because of money issues.
He’s charged with 35 counts of aggravated animal cruelty and 26 counts of confinement of animals without sufficient food and water.
He is being held at Sarasota County Jail on $30,000 bond.