BEVERLY HILLS, Fla — A Beverly Hills woman was arrested after Citrus County deputies found a child inside a home with over 300 rodents Wednesday, according to a news release.
The sheriff's office said deputies initially went to the home of Shannon Marie Morgan, 38, because of an animal cruelty complaint.
When deputies entered Morgan's home, they were "overwhelmed by the pungent smell of ammonia," the sheriff's office said in the news release.
"They initially observed several cages and glass aquariums containing snakes and rodents but also saw rats and cats running freely," the news release said. "It was blatantly obvious; these animals were deprived of all their basic necessities."
There was a "build-up of fecal matter" and urine throughout the home and cages, which was causing an infestation of flies, roaches and other insects, according to the news release.
Deputies said the infestation was also fueled by trash, dirty dishes and rotten food, which was found throughout the home.
In one of the bedrooms, deputies found a ferret inside a cage littered with urine and feces; and a dog in a cage that was too small.
"Both animals were deprived of food and water," deputies said.
Upon further investigation, deputies said they found a child in a second bedroom with trash all over the floor, which was "creating a habitat for insects" and a mattress covered with roaches.
"Blood was also observed on the floor created by the loose cats eating a rat," deputies said.
In a third bedroom, deputies found around 50 rodents in cages, in addition to the over 300 other rodents roaming freely, the news release said.
"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"
Morgan was charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty and one count of child neglect after deputies. Her bond was set at $26,000.