Woman denied custody of 70 seized animals
Within the last 90 minutes, a judge granted Charlotte County Animal Control custody of the 70 surviving animals it seized from a woman they call a hoarder.
Elizabeth Smock did not go down without a fight. She brought medical records of some of the animals to court to prove she does take care of the animals and that this was just a one time mistake.
For Smock, it was an emotional day in court. The judge ruled against her.
Instead of Smock having her animals, the judge granted custody of the 70 surviving animals removed from her home last week. Animal control found the animals living in filth. We learned on Thursday that two cats removed from Smock’s house later died.
During the hearing, Smock admitted that she got in way over her head. Due to that reason, she asked the judge to return at least some of her animals, including a dog and seven cats.
While Smock’s friends also came to court to testify in her defense, it did not convince the judge that she is fit to care for so many animals.
But, the judge said that Smock could keep custody of the animals not removed from her home last week, including dozens of rats and a handful of pigs.
In the upcoming six months, animal control officers will make unannounced visits to Smock’s home, per the judge’s ruling. Its visits are to ensure that Smock is taking good care of those remaining animals.