BEVERLY HILLS, Fla. (WKRC) — A woman was arrested after her child was allegedly found in a house filled with mistreated pets, feces, trash, insects, and more than 300 rodents.
Shannon Marie Morgan was arrested on Wednesday and charged with one county of willful child neglect and 12 counts of cruelty to animals, including torture, infliction of pain, or serious injury.
Citrus County Sheriff’s Office was called to a home in Beverly Hills on December 7 for a report of possible animal cruelty.
Deputies say that when they arrived, they said they could “smell a foul odor emitting from the residence while standing in the front yard.” The officials say it became difficult to breath “due to the ammonia from fecal matter and urine.”
The house was filled with cages and aquariums containing snakes and rodents with feces building up inside, according to reports. Reports also say there was no food or water in the cages either.
“The snake enclosure and rodents’ cages were surrounded by flies, roaches and other bugs due to the infestation of feces and urine accumulation,” a deputy wrote in the document. “I then observed in one of the rodent’s cages to contain a deceased rodent. The rodent had been there for some time due to it being almost completely covered by bedding and other rodent feces.”
Reports say there was also a dog and ferret in cages containing feces and urine in their cages without food or water.
Authorities found the child in a bedroom.
“There was a mattress where the victim slept which was lying directly on the ground and covered in roaches,” the document said. “There were multiple cats within the room some of which were actively eating a dismembering a rat. There was blood on the ground and throughout the room from the rat.”
Morgan opened the door to her room and deputies say they saw 50 rodents in cages and another 200 to 300 “running freely.” Deputies also said that the rodents had taken over the bedroom.
“While looking into the room the defendant stated she is aware that it has gotten bad but has not gotten help until today when she called a rodent company,” the document said. “She stated she does not live at the residence anymore and she only come to the residence to check on it nightly due to the state it’s in.”
Morgan allegedly said she tried to “sabotage the animals and kill them so she didn’t have to deal with them.”
“Abuse of any kind should not be tolerated,” Sheriff Mike Prendergast said. “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 style of the environment.”