300 Confiscated Animals Treated at SPCA Shelter

The nonprofit SPCA Tampa Bay in Largo brought in two veterinarians to assess the menagerie of animals.

From three turtles to 114 rats, the neglected animals confiscated from an Oldsmar home were given medical exams at the SPCA Tampa Bay shelter Tuesday.

SPCA officials don't remember ever receiving this many animals or this variety of animals at once. Rats, snakes, rabbits, hedgehogs, dogs: more and more animals seemed to appear in every corner at Largo's SPCA Tampa Bay.

Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies found the animals while responding to an emergency call concerning a child missing in Oldsmar.

It's like "a pet store. It sounds like that's what the family was doing, selling pets at flea markets... a real mix of species. Some we had to look up," said Martha Boden, CEO of SPCA Tampa Bay.

In a normal day the Largo nonprofit receives 30 to 50 animals, most of which are surrendered by owners. The rescue organization's usual census is 300 to 400 animals, including pets in foster homes, according to the SPCA.

The number of animals has grown from the original count because some of the animals are pregant and gave birth to litters, after they were rescued.

On Sunday, the SPCA brought two veterinarians to Largo, and they gave some of the animals emergency treatment. They found a lot of fleas and some animals had mites. Given the state of the animals in "two-inches of feces and body parts... It's amazing they are not worse off," Boden said.

The rest of the animals were placed in cages with food, water and bedding. Local pet stores have been helping the SPCA by providing more cages.

"10-gallon glass tanks with secure tops and additional supplies are urgently needed to help house reptiles,"  according to a post on the SPCA Tampa Bay Facebook page. Contact Info@SPCATampaBay.org, if you can help.

The animals were sorted by species and gender. Each animal still needs to be individually examined.

The owners of the animals were arrested on charges of child abuse and animal cruelty. The SPCA is working on contacting the owners to get them to surrender the animals to the nonprofit. The animals are not available for adoption at this time.

The SPCA Tampa Bay provided an updated list of animals Monday afternoon, according to the Tampa Bay Times:

  • 54 hamsters
  • 9 hedgehogs
  • 14 lizards
  • 10 mice
  • 31 rabbits
  • 32 snakes
  • 3 turtles
  • 5 dogs
  • 6 finches
  • 2 spiders
  • 14 bearded dragons
  • 5 guinea pigs
  • 114 rats


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