Exotic animals up for adoption in Largo - WFLA News Channel 8

Exotic animals up for adoption in Largo

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© (Michael Egger/WFLA) © (Michael Egger/WFLA)
© (Michael Egger/WFLA) © (Michael Egger/WFLA)
© (Michael Egger/WFLA) © (Michael Egger/WFLA)
© (Michael Egger/WFLA) © (Michael Egger/WFLA)

Hundreds of exotic animals will be up for adoption starting Tuesday afternoon at the SPCA Tampa Bay in Largo. Volunteers and staff spent hours getting them ready for their debut.

"We're getting everything ready as best we can," said SPCA CEO Martha Boden. "So when we open at one o'clock, we'll have animals ready to go home."

Authorities seized nearly 300 animals from a home in Oldsmar earlier this month. 28-year-old Jennifer Kovacs and her 28-year-old boyfriend Jeffrey O'Neil were both arrested on animal cruelty charges in the case. The animals filled their small home and were crammed into cages. The couple signed over custody of the animals last week.

Now it's up to the SPCA to find them new homes. There are more than 100 rats, hamsters, and spiny mice, as well as a dozen bearded dragons, snakes and numerous other reptiles. Boden believes there will be people willing to adopt them.

"There are definitely people who are interested in what would be considered more exotic pets," she said.

Boden has been caring for numerous hedgehogs in her office. They too will be up for adoption. But there is an application process in place.

"We want to make sure that the people who might be the best match for these animals get a chance," she said.

Several of the hedgehogs are very friendly, others are a little shy.

"They're not necessarily going to come when you call them," Boden laughed. "On the other hand, they do get to know you. It's quite clear that they get to know you."

Several rabbits were also seized from the home. They should be available for adoption later in the week. The SPCA will also have to find proper housing for two squirrels they believe the couple raised and now can't be returned to the wild.

"We're going to get pictures of all of these animals up on our website," said Boden. "So if people are interested to see what types of animals are going to be up for adoption Tuesday, they can go to our website."

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