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200 cats seized from FL home

A Florida couple was charged after more than 200 cats were found inside their home. (Source: WEAR/CNN) A Florida couple was charged after more than 200 cats were found inside their home. (Source: WEAR/CNN)

MILTON, FL (WEAR/CNN) - A Florida couple was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after more than 200 cats were found in their home.

The owners claim to run a non-profit rescue shelter, but authorities had been investigating them since spring.

"Yeah, I didn't that there was that many there, but I knew there was a lot," neighbor Everett Pfeiffer said.

Pfeiffer said neighbors knew the people living here were hoarding cats. He's seen crates piled in front of the house, a garage full of cat food, and cats peeking out the windows.

"I'm a cat lover, I'm an animal lover and I think that hiding, doing what they were doing and letting these diseased animals live in their home, I think it's awful," he said. "I think if they were doing the right thing that's one thing, but obviously they weren't."

Deputies said every corner, every room was full of cats.

It is unknown exactly what condition they were in, but the search warrant mentions the couple failed to provide care and some cats had contagious diseases.

Neighbors have been complaining for many years to animal control, even sometimes confronting the couple living inside.

But the issue didn't come to a head until now.

"He said he's non-profit and cat rescue organization and he's untouchable and we should live with it," Pfeiffer said.

Online, the address is listed as a non-profit shelter called Kirkham Kattery Inc.

Laura Garrett thought that's what was going on, but had her suspicions when one of the cats showed up at her yard in bad condition.

"He was pretty distraught," she said. "He had diarrhea and like ring worm and he was pretty sick. I took him to someone else who took him and nursed him back to health and adopted him out."

All the cats were taken to an animal shelter to be evaluated and treated.

Copyright 2013 WEAR via CNN. All rights reserved.

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