Source: Bay News 9
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
A Tampa man faces multiple animal abuse and cruelty charges after officers seized 18 dogs and other animals from his East Nedro home Tuesday morning.
Officers seized 13 adult dogs and five puppies from 28-year-old Michael Gibson's home, along with two ferrets, a snake, a tarantula, a scorpion and a fish. Gibson says he loves all of the animals.
"They're my life," he said. "I don't have children and don't plan on it. They're my world and they're taking my world away right now."
But Tampa Police Department investigators said the animals lived in squalor. They're charging Gibson's with felony animal cruelty.
"The backyard, when we served the warrant, was covered in feces, trash, twisted metal, broken glass," said Greg Hattle of the Tampa Police Department. "There was only one bucket of water and it was almost empty. One dog could barely get to the water."
Investigators said one dog pulled clumps of his fur out because sores from a skin disease were driving him crazy.
A veter will examine the dogs to determine their overall health. Their fate will be decided after that. Gibson says he hopes they will be allowed to live and says he doesn't blame the officers for removing the animals.
"I'm a lawbreaker," Gibson said. "They're just doing their job. I can't get mad at them."
In addition to the animal cruelty charge, Gibson was charged with one count of animals as a public nuisance and with 14 counts of confinement of animals without food and water. He is being held in the Orient Road Jail on $9,250 bond.