Police: Caged Lions, Caged Dogs, Weapons, Filth Found In Home
BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ There were caged lions in the back yard, caged dogs in the kitchen, AK-47s in the bedroom and two boys living amid filth.
After authorities found these conditions at a mobile home owned by an animal breeder, they arrested him and placed his stepsons, ages 9 and 10, with relatives.
``The conditions inside the house were deplorable,″ said police Maj. Richard Nugent.
Daniel Lee Henrich, 34, who is on probation for felony drug trafficking, faced 10 charges ranging from child neglect to weapons possession.
Police went out to his rural home 45 miles north of Tampa Wednesday after one of Henrich’s neighbors called, worried about the boys.
Tucked between stacks of dirty clothes, bags of garbage and empty cereal boxes, they found dozens of snakes and sore-infested dogs in cages.
In the master bedroom, where one of the boys had been watching television, a loaded AK-47 was propped against the window. The other boy was at a friend’s house.
They also found 13 assault rifles and semiautomatic shotguns, and stacks of ammunition. Behind the trailer were two caged white lions and a cougar.
The dogs were removed from the premises by animal control workers and state wildlife officers took the cougar to a licensed wildlife facility, said Hernando County sheriff’s spokeswoman Deanna Dammer. Authorities were trying to find a home for the lions, she said.
Judge Peyton Hyslop on Thursday released Henrich on his own recognizance so he could continue treatment at a local drug detoxification center. Henrich’s wife was also in a detoxification program, authorities said.