POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Authorities in Polk County, Florida, discovered a distressing case of animal hoarding at a home in southwest Polk County. Deputies were responding to a well-being check for an elderly woman when they found the shocking conditions of the home. The home was covered in feces and had a strong ammonia odor.
Inside, they discovered over 30 cats and one dog living in deplorable conditions. The 82-year-old woman was removed from the home due to the hazardous environment.
The suspect, Sharon Cochran, 57, was found by detectives at the scene surrounded by piles of trash and garbage. The cats appeared to be underweight and in poor health. The home had an ammonia reading of 15 ppm, well above the normal breathing air level of 0 ppm.
Cochran was taken into custody and charged with 36 counts of animal neglect. She was also the sole caregiver of the elderly woman, leading to an additional charge of neglect of an elderly person. The victim was safely relocated to family members.
Sheriff Grady Judd expressed concern over the recent trend of animal hoarding cases and urged for responsible pet ownership. The animals recovered from the home are currently being examined by Animal Control veterinary staff with hopes of rehabilitation and eventual adoption to loving homes.
In the past week, this marks the second case of a woman caught hoarding animals with good intention, but ultimately causing harm. The authorities are now seeking to ensure the well-being of the animals and provide proper care for them as they work towards rehoming them.