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Child found in home ‘submerged in feces’, 300 rats scurrying freely, deputies

Citrus County Sheriff's Office
Citrus County Sheriff’s Office

(CITRUS COUNTY, FLA) — A woman was arrested after deputies say they found a child living in filth among 300 rats in a home ‘submerged in feces.’

Shannon Marie Morgan, 38, was arrested and charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty and one count of child neglect. Her bond was set at $26,000.

Deputies responded to a home in Beverly Hills, Florida to investigate an animal cruelty complaint Dec.7, according to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.

Officers were immediately ‘overwhelmed’ by a pungent smell of ammonia upon entering the home, discovering an “infestation of flies, roaches, and other bugs” caused by a build-up of feces and urine.

“Moving throughout the house officials were taken aback by the other deplorable conditions such as trash, dirty dishes, and rotten food scattered all throughout the residence, causing more roaches and flies to pervade the area,” according to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies discovered two cages in a bedroom containing a ferret and a dog.

“The ferret’s cage was littered with urine and feces and the dog’s cage was entirely too small,” the sheriff’s office said. “Both animals were deprived of food and water.”
In a second bedroom, occupied by an adolescent, officers found a mattress flooded with roaches and trash build-up all over the floor.
50 rodents in cages and 300 other pests were found in the third bedroom of the house.
“Abuse of any kind should not be tolerated. The conditions of this residence and the animals in this case were so bad, Sheriff’s Office personnel were cautioned about making entry,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “Neither children nor animals should ever endure this type of environment.”
Citrus County animal control officers retrieved seven cats, one dog, and one ferret from the house.
Authorities have secured the home for further investigation to include the confiscation of other surviving animals.