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Sheriff: Citrus County couple kept 84 animals, child in 'deplorable' conditions

At least one animal was so malnourished it had to be put down, the sheriff's office said.
Credit: Citrus County Sheriff's Office

HOMOSASSA, Fla — A Homosassa couple kept 84 animals and a child in "deplorable" conditions, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office said. 

Now, the couple is facing animal cruelty and child neglect charges, the agency said.

According to the sheriff's office, sheriff's office animal control officers were called around 6 p.m. Wednesday to a home on W Green Acres Street in Homosassa in regards to a report of animal cruelty. 

When they arrived, animal control quickly realized they would need the help of both sheriff's deputies and county animal services, a release said.

Deputies say 21 dogs, 27 cats, six various species of birds, a turtle and one chicken were all found inside the home. 

Four dogs were caged in the kitchen and were laying in their own urine and feces. Nine other dogs were found in the dining room also caged and in the same condition. 

The rest of the animals were found throughout the house, the release said. Deputies say one dog was found in the master bedroom soaked in urine and was severely malnourished to the point the dog couldn't stand. The dog was so neglected it had to be put down, deputies say. 

Most other animals had open sores on their bodies, legs and feet, deputies say. 

More livestock was found outside and rescued, the release said. 

A child was found living in the home in the "same deplorable conditions," deputies say. 

"There are basic standards of humane care for both people and animals," Sheriff Prendergast said in a statement. "These two individuals not only allowed 84 animals to suffer in this hazardous and unsanitary environment, but they even exposed a juvenile child to these unlivable conditions."

In total, 85 animals were found and rescued from the home, the release said. 

Christine Anne Iverson, 42, and Tabitha Kaye Iverson, 51, were charged with 61 counts of aggravated cruelty, 13 counts of animal cruelty and one count of child neglect. They are being held in jail with $137,000 bond each. 

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office says the county animal shelter was already at capacity before rescuing these animals and are in "urgent" need of adopters and fosters. 

For anyone interested in fostering or adopting, email colleen.yarbrough@citrusbocc.com or call 352-746-8400 for more information. 

Credit: Citrus County Sheriff's Office

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