EDGEWATER, Fla. — Police in Florida have charged three adults after three children and 245 animals, including mice and rats, were found living in unspeakable conditions Sunday.
Officials with the Edgewater Police Department said officers were called to the home to check on the three kids, ages 8, 9 and 10.
Neighbor Ashley Fogg said what she saw outside the home on Royal Palm Drive was bad enough — sick-looking animals running loose — but she says what she has since learned was inside is a true nightmare.
Police video from inside the home showed hundreds of animals, including guinea pigs, a half-dozen dogs and cats, a hedgehog, rabbits, hamsters, reptiles, birds and more than 175 mice and rats.
Police said the home reeked of urine and feces. It was littered with debris, rotting food and flies. In the children’s room, police say an upper bunk had no mattress and garbage was piled on the floor ankle-deep.
“How can you consciously sleep at night knowing that this is the condition you put your child in? It’s not acceptable. As a parent, you fail, you get a major F,” Fogg said.
Three adults who lived in the home — Greg Nelson, his wife Susan Nelson, and their girlfriend Melissa Hamilton, will be charged with three counts of child abuse and 66 counts of animal cruelty, police said.
Police say the children were placed with a family member.
The Edgewater Animal Shelter is in charge of the animals, some starving, some suffering from mange, all covered in fleas.
Two guinea pigs and a number of mice have already died.
Police think the adults were breeding the rats and mice to sell to snake owners.