Deputies: 9 dead cats found in Sarasota man’s home, 26 cats removed

NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) — Twenty-six cats were removed from a North Port man’s home and remains of nine other deceased cats were also discovered.

On June 24, Animal Services Officers responded to a welfare check at Andrew Gerberich’s home after receiving information there were several cats living in deplorable conditions. Officers said when they entered they saw cat feces, urine and garbage scattered throughout the home. Reportedly officers had to use facial masks and could only stay inside the residence for a short period of time due to the odor.

Investigators said Gerberich surrendered the remaining cats to the custody of Animal Services to receive proper medical attention. Due to the lack of fresh air, food and water, several of the cats are suffering from infections to their upper respiratory system, eyes and ears.

Also, officials said several of the cats resorted to cannibalism for food.

Gerberich told investigators he initially took in the cats to rescue them, but couldn’t afford to continue to care for the animals.

He is charged with 35 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and 26 counts of confinement of animals without sufficient food and water. Gerberich is currently being held in the Sarasota County Jail on a $915,000 bond.

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