Police Remove Three Children and 245 Animals from 'Deplorable' Florida Home
Edgewater PD

Officers found four dogs, two cats, nine guinea pigs, 12 rabbits, four hamsters, ten sugar gliders, 14 birds, two geckos, one tortoise, one hedgehog, seven bearded dragons, 95 mice, and 83 rats.

Police in Florida have rescued three children living in "deplorable" conditions with 245 animals.

Officers were dispatched to perform a welfare check at the home in Edgewater where they found the three girls sharing the living space with hundreds of creatures of "various species".

"It was immediately evident neither the children, nor the animals were being cared for properly," Edgewater PD said. "The residence was in deplorable living conditions."

"EPD Officers observed a dead guinea pig in a cage, rotting food, animal feces and urine throughout the residence."

Pictures posted on Facebook showed the despicable state of the home, strewn with animal cages and trash, and a children's bedroom covered in droppings.

The children, aged eight, nine and ten, were removed from the residence by the Department of Children and Families and were placed with a responsible family member.

Officers also removed four dogs, two cats, nine guinea pigs (plus one deceased), 12 rabbits, four hamsters, ten sugar gliders, 14 birds, one gecko, one leopard spotted gecko, one tortoise, one hedgehog, seven bearded dragons, 95 mice, and 83 rats (60 adults and 23 babies). All were taken to Edgewater Animal Shelter.

Police said three defendants — Melissa Hamilton, Greg Nelson and Susan Nelson — will be charged with three counts of child abuse and 66 counts of animal cruelty.

While Greg and Susan were in custody, Melissa's whereabouts are currently unknown.

Edgewater PD appealed for donations to help both the children and the animals rescued.

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