One of the dogs taken from a Lakewood Road home on Saturday.
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published: Monday, June 10, 2013
Woman charged with 45 counts of animal cruelty
SEBRING -- The smell coming from 4315 Lakewood Road in Sebring was so bad that it could be detected from the road and the first deputies on scene Saturday thought there may be a dead body inside the home.
Instead, deputies found 22 adult cats, five kittens and 18 dogs in "deplorable" condition inside the home. They were malnourished, infested with fleas and covered in feces. Several of them were near death.
One dog's flea infestation was so bad, deputies reported, that it was impossible to tell what color the dog's skin was without removing fleas, which had literally eaten holes in the dog's skin.
Michelle Ann Brown, 59, who lives in the home, has been charged with 45 counts of animal cruelty and is in the Highlands County Jail on $45,000 bond.
The stench was so overpowering that deputies and animal control officers had to don protective gear in order to remove the animals from the house.
The entire home -- including the garage -- was full of animal feces, according to a Highlands County Sheriff's Office report, to the point where it was impossible to determine what the surface of the floor was.
Many of the animals had mange, the report said. Three of the dogs were so malnourished they couldn't walk. Other were locked in crates that were too small for them to stand up and turn around.
Some of the animals' food and water bowls contained large amounts of feces, which appeared to be several weeks old, and some of the animals had resorted to consuming the feces to survive, deputies reported.
When the dogs and cats got to animal control, the report said, they ate and drank as if they hadn't had the opportunity in "quite some time," the report said.
The identity of Blindman (by: Brooke - 6/15/2013)
After all of your obnoxious comments I finally decided to find out who you are, Blindman. Your name is either Jason Gonzales or John Franklin and whichever it is, you are a disgusting human being.
So sad (by: carrie cravey - 6/14/2013)
This is so horribly sad. What starts out as good intentions can quickly lead to this type of disaster. If you become overwhelmed, there is no shame in surrendering the animals. I was fostering a young cat thru her pregnancy and continued to do so until I could find homes for the mother and her kittens. In my small apartment, 7 cats, and two children, was very overwhelming. I did what was best for them and took them to a shelter where they could receive the care and treatments needed. It was hard, but I knew it was for the best. It's not about how you will ultimately feel surrendering the animals, it's about the animals themselves. This was a selfish act. You let it get so bad that there may be some that are beyond help and need to be put down. Who did you help by doing that? I pray these babies are able to fully recover from this and find wonderful furever homes. Shame on you, woman.
(by: Blindman~ - 6/13/2013)
That's a good idea... let her go free, but no pets ever again
God Bless These Babies (by: Dana Curtiss - 6/12/2013)
She wasn't saving lives, she was prolonging death. Meeting her, I would have never imagined this to be the reality. She has lied to & fooled countless, people, vets & rescue groups. God bless these sweet babies. May they make full recoveries & find the forever homes they deserve. Shame on you Michelle. You deserve nothing less than to have done to you what you put these innocent babies thru...you are disgusting, inhumane & heartless. I pray they judge orders that you can NEVER have a pet for the rest of your life!
(by: Hamilton - 6/11/2013)
"Preston" use your real name and get off the pulpit while youre at it. Theres no need to "sign" your posts PHC either....it isn't the Declaration of Independence....
TO MUCH FOR WORDS! (by: Sebring_Resident - 6/11/2013)
How in the world can someone live like this, in this mess? I wonder if her bedroom looked like the picture of the living room and kitchen? Just unbelievable to see these pictures and to have the neighbors to have to smell this mess.
(by: Blindman~ - 6/11/2013)
Ile bet she voted for Obama for pres both times!
(by: Dr. DooLittle - 6/11/2013)
and the animal abuser will get away with it cause she's coo coo.......
Abused animals (by: Preston H. Colby - 6/10/2013)
Please, please somebody tell me how this can happen? How can adults be so cruel to children and animals? It must take a special type of person to devolve so far. The sad fact is that these situations, children and animals abuse, happen all over the country, many right in front of us, but we don’t know what to look for. A few years ago San Francisco did a study about children/animal abuse. The study determined that in homes where animals were abused there was an equal amount of child abuse. They had the Animal Control officers report to their Child Welfare agency the addresses where animal abuse occurred. That gave the Child Welfare agency an early “heads-up”. PHC
Disgusting. (by: AP89 - 6/10/2013)
This lady's pathetic excuse of being "overwhelmed" is such a cheap lie it is unreal! I have zero sympathy for her. She DID NOT try to take care of those animals. She purely let them suffer. Now... let her suffer in prison.
(by: Blindman~ - 6/10/2013)
It looks like a Futch home!
How to Help (by: Lui Matthews - 6/10/2013)
The Humane Society posted a message on Facebook that they needed volunteers to foster mainly small dogs that they would be getting in. I wonder if these are the ones. If you have a heart, please contact them to help. They will probably need donations of food also and money. There are bins in Publix and Sweetbay for donations of food for the Humane Society. They also have a page online where you can make monetary donations. Or, give them a call.
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