Florida shelter struggles to care for 300 seized animals

OLDSMAR — Southwest Florida animal officials are struggling to care for nearly 300 neglected animals seized from a couple's home.

Rabbits, birds, snakes and other reptiles were taken from the home of Jeffrey O'Neil and Jennifer Kovacs. Authorities responded to the home Sunday after the coupled reported their young daughter missing. She was found safe with a relative.

The animals nearly doubled the occupancy of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Rescuers are seeking donations to care for the animals until they can be adopted.

Some rats and hamsters have died, but most are fine. Finch eggs hatched Monday.

The Tampa Bay Times reports it costs $2,990 per day to board the animals.

O'Neil describes himself as a rat and rodent rescuer online.

The couple is being held on bond for child abuse and animal cruelty charges.

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