Associated Press Release
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A Tampa man has been charged with animal cruelty after authorities discovered 22 dead cats at his home.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reports deputies were executing an eviction at the home of James Hopkins when the cats were discovered Thursday.
Deputies say the deceased felines were being stored in two freezers.
Investigators also discovered more than two dozen live cats at the residence. Hopkins allegedly went outside as the eviction was being conducted and forced 31 cats into four small carriers. He then allegedly hid them in two nearby foreclosed properties and along a wood line.
The cats were lying on top of each other and without food, water or sufficient space to breathe.
Hopkins has been charged with felony animal cruelty and 20 counts of misdemeanor improper confinement.