SPCA sheltering nearly 300 animals taken from home - FOX 13 News

SPCA sheltering nearly 300 animals taken from home

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  • Animal services seizes nearly 300 animals from Oldsmar home

    Animal services seizes nearly 300 animals from Oldsmar home

    Sunday, January 6 2013 3:19 PM EST2013-01-06 20:19:21 GMT
    An Oldsmar couple is facing child abuse and animal cruelty charges following their arrest Sunday by Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies. Jeffrey O'Neil, 28, and Jennifer Kovacs, 26, were booked into the
    An Oldsmar couple is facing child abuse and animal cruelty charges following their arrest Sunday by Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies. Jeffrey O'Neil, 28, and Jennifer Kovacs, 26, were booked into jail.
OLDSMAR (FOX 13) -

The SPCA of Tampa Bay is used to getting about 50 animals a day, but on Sunday they got a whopping 300.

Martha Boden, with SPCA Tampa Bay, says they a little overwhelmed, but up to the task.

"We are quite lucky that our staff is well-versed in a number of species, so we've got some staff that are reptile experts, others that are small animal experts, " Boden said.

From the exotic to the fury there was a bit of everything The animals were taken from an Oldsmar home. Detectives say 28-year-old Jeffrey O'Neil and 26-year-old Jennifer Kovacs were breeding and selling them illegally.

The animal operation was uncovered after the couple called police to say a child they were caring for went missing.

It turns out a relative had taken the toddler. But detectives decided the conditions were so deplorable, all the animals had to be removed.

While the couple was taken to jail, the animals were taken to the SPCA in Pinellas County.

They are now caring for five dogs, along with hedgehogs, rabbits of every color and size, birds, hundreds of rats, hamsters, a lot of lizards, and snakes -- some small, some large.

Finding a place for all of these species is not easy, and far from over.

"These animals are clearly going to go through a lot of feed, a lot of bedding. We don't have the right housing for everything, so we will work on getting better housing than what we have," Boden said.

Kovacs and O'Neil are being held in the Pinellas County Jail on $10,000 bond each. They are facing child abuse and animal cruelty charges.

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