Nearly 300 Animals Seized From Oldsmar Home

Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputies say they discovered the animals while responding to a 911 call about a missing child.

Nearly 300 animals were discovered at an Oldsmar home when deputies responded to a 911 call about a missing child early Sunday morning, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

A spokesperson says deputies responded to a call about a missing 16-month-old from a home at 206 Lee St. Jeffrey O'Neil, 26, and Jennifer Kovacs allegedly told deputies the child crawled out of a crib, opened the front door and had been missing for at least an hour.

Deputies say when they arrived at the home, the couple appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. While at the home, a note was discovered from a relative who said they'd picked up the child and had taken her to their home because the child was crying and the relative could not wake O'Neil. Deputies located the child and say she was in good condition and was being cared for properly.

Deputies continued their investigation at the home, which they say was in deplorable condition. They initially said that they found more than 100 animals in 88 cages. However, the number of animals found was later increased to about 298.

Deputies say the animals were being bred and sold without the proper licensing. The animals lived inside and outside the house.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was called to the home to conduct an investigation as well as Florida Fish and Wildlife  Conservation Commission (FWC).

Here is a list of the animals that the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says were discovered in the home-

  • Seven Burmese Pythons
  • 20 unknown types of snakes
  • Seven Monitor Lizards
  • 100 Bearded Lizards
  • 2 Scorpion Spiders (dead)
  • 100 rats and mice
  • Finches
  • Rabbits
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Squirrels
  • Hamsters
  • Gerbils
  • Hedgehogs

Deputies say three rats and one hamster were found dead and half consumed by other animals in the home.

A lizard was believed to have burrowed in the back yard and had yet to be located as of Sunday afternoon.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Jeffrey O'Neil on a charge of felony cruelty to animals and a charge of child abuse.  Jennifer Kovacs was arrested on a charge of felony cruelty to animals and a charge of child abuse.

As of Sunday evening, no bond had been set for the O'Neil and Kovacs, according to Pinellas County Jail records.


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