PALM BAY, Florida – Palm Bay police arrested a 38-year-old mother after they found her living in deplorable conditions with her 13-year-old son. The home, on Edgewood Drive in Palm Bay, had 58 dogs and cats in it, some not alive.
Michelle Murray is now facing one count of child abuse and is currently, being held without bond.
Nick Cleto, a next-door neighbor, called the Florida Department of Children and Families to check on the welfare of the child living inside the home.
“I could smell the house from outside; I would never go inside,” Cleto said. “I couldn’t fathom living in there,” he added.
A caseworker from DCF went to the house and immediately called the police after smelling a foul odor and finding unlivable conditions.
The residence was covered in animal feces and urine from the nearly 60 animals living inside. Additionally, the refrigerator had almost no food in it and was filthy.
Five cats were found dead in the home, and in the backyard, most of the others were malnourished.
Pending court orders, the 13-year-old boy is in protective custody. He apparently was malnourished and had decaying and broken teeth.
The surviving pets were taken to a veterinarian’s office for observation and treatment.
DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.
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