Shannon Marie Morgan: Woman arrested after child rescued from home filled with 300 rodents and animal feces
CITRUS COUNTY, FLORIDA: A woman, Shannon Marie Morgan, was arrested for animal cruelty after Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputies responded to an address in Beverly Hills regarding an animal cruelty complaint on Wednesday, December 7. Deputies said they were “overwhelmed” by the smell of ammonia immediately after stepping inside. The “build-up” of feces, trash, and rotten food resulted in an infestation of flies and cockroaches, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies claimed they discovered multiple reptiles and rodents in cages, as well as cats and rats moving between rooms, as they progressed through the house. They said one-bedroom housed 50 rats in cages, with over 300 more roaming freely. "It was blatantly obvious; these animals were deprived of all their basic necessities. The build-up of fecal matter and urine in the house and cages caused an infestation of flies, roaches, and other bugs," the Sheriff's Office said. Deputies said a child was rescued from a third bedroom filled with trash, “where even the mattress was covered with roaches.” The floor was reportedly covered in blood from where cats killed a rat.
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Moving into the house, officials said they were taken aback by the garbage, unclean dishes, and rotten food left throughout, prompting more roaches and flies to infest the premises. "After moving into one of the bedrooms, deputies observed two more cages — one containing a ferret and another 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 press release said as per WFLA
“Abuse of any kind should not be tolerated,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “The conditions of this residence and the animals, in this case, were so bad, Sheriff’s Office personnel were cautioned about making entry. Neither children nor animals should ever endure this type of environment. It is crucial that our citizens report any possible signs of child or animal neglect. Our Animal Control Officers, deputies, and crime scene specialists once again have done a phenomenal job.”
The defendant, Shannon Marie Morgan was charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty and one count of child neglect. The total bond for the defendant was set at $26,000. Animal control officials from the CCSO took seven cats, a dog and a ferret from the residence. The residence has been secured in preparation for further investigation, which will involve the evacuation of any surviving animals, the Sheriff's office informed.