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Florida couple and child found living with half eaten animals

By Mason White 10:56 AM February 5, 2013

By: Ryan Lee Hall
(Scroll down for video) A Florida couple was arrested and charged after police found them and a child, living with half eaten animals inside their home, according to police reports in Florida.

The Florida man and his wife are now in jail on charges of child abuse and animal cruelty, after deputies discovered the living among about 300 animals, including snakes, lizards and rats, some of which were dead or half eaten.

Jeffrey O’Neil, 28, and Jennifer Kovacs, 26, of Clearwater, near Tampa, were arrested Sunday after a family member found their baby daughter crying inside the jungle.

The family member found the child crying and could not wake O’Neil, a television news station said. The relative took the 16-month-old and left a note.

The couple reported the child missing to police and when members of the Pinellas County Sheriff arrived, they found the animals in 88 cages inside the home.

Besides snakes, lizards and rats, there were mice, birds, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, squirrels, gerbils and other rodents.
Some had died, others had been partially eaten by other animals, the television news station said.

Police said the couple bred animals and sold them illegally on the Internet or at flea markets.
The couple was detained in the county jail. A relative was caring for the child and the Humane Society of Tampa took custody of the animals.

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