Cats found in freezer during foreclosure eviction

10:58 AM, May 24, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida-- James Hopkins, 66, is in jail on animal cruelty charges for putting cats in a freezer.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office was affecting a foreclosure eviction at a home off  Annette Avenue in Tampa when they discovered Hopkins living in the property that wasn't his. 

When they walked in, they were stricken by the stench of cat urine and feces, as more than 30 unhealthy cats were running loose. 

From 2012: Kittens found in sandwich bags inside freezer

Upon further investigation, deputies found more than 15 cats and kittens in the freezer- all of which were dead.  

According to the Director of Hillsborough County Animal Services, Ian Hallett, officials believe the cats had died before being frozen.

Hopkins was charged with one count of animal cruelty and 20 counts of unlawful confinement of an animal. He was taken to jail and is being held on a $12,000 bond. 

The surviving animals were all taken to Animal Services, where they will be evaluated and cared for.

This is the third major case of animal cruelty to be discovered in the Bay area this week. On Wednesday, 50 cats and three dogs were found inside a U-Haul trailer that was abandoned outside a Spring Hill Publix. Most of the cats had to be euthanized and the owner, 50-year-old Frances Terry Evans, was arrested.

Then on Thursday, dozens of animals were removed from a home in Holiday.  Charges are pending in that case.

Follow 10 News Reporter Charles Billi on twitter @Charles Billi

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