Florida Police Respond to Missing Child Alert to Find Home Full of Hundreds of Caged Animals
When police arrived to the home of Jeffrey O'Neil and Jennifer Kovacs in Oldsmar, Florida, they found guinea pigs, hedge hogs, squirrels, and seven Burmese pythons. They just couldn't find the 16-month-old girl the couple was also supposed to be caring for.
The couple were caring for the toddler, but in the early hours of January 6 reported her missing. They believed she had crawled out of her crib and went out the front door. She had been missing for an hour before they called police.
When police arrived they noticed that the couple was drunk. While the didn't find the girl, they did find a note from relatives explaining that they had come to pick up the girl and couldn't wake up O'Neil. The child was was later confirmed to be in the care of relatives.
With that out of the way, police then had no choice but to deal with the hundreds of animals the couple had kept in their home. Here's what was found in the house:
7 Burmese Pythons
20 Unknown Types of Snakes
7 Monitor Lizards
100 (Approx) Bearded Lizards
2 Scorpion Spiders (Dead)
100 (Approx) Rats and Mice
It was like a mini-Noah's Ark in there.
Three dead rats and a dead hamster were also found. They had begun to be eaten by other animals in the home. Police also had to remove a lizard that had burrowed into the back yard.
The couple was breeding and selling the animals without a license, police say.
Both were arrested on child abuse and animal cruelty charges.
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