Cats resorted to cannibalism in animal cruelty case, police say

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NORTH PORT, Fla. — Several cats resorted to cannibalism for food in a North Port home of a man facing 35 counts of aggravated animal cruelty for failure to care for his animals, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said.

Andrew Gerberich, 60, is behind bars on $915,000 bond after police rescued 26 cats from a residence strewn with garbage, cat feces, urine and the remains of nine dead cats, according to police. Many of the rescued cats, now in the care of the sheriff’s office Animal Services department, are suffering from infections to their upper respiratory system, eyes and ears, police said.

Gerberich told investigators that he brought the animals into his home while serving as a cat rescue but became unable to care for them because of financial hardship.

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