CLEARWATER — More than two dozen cats left behind by evicted tenants were seized from a Clearwater home Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
According to the Clearwater Fire Department, the owner of the home at 1574 S Martin Luther King Ave. called authorities around 12:30 p.m. after he encountered a strong odor went he went to check on his property.
The homeowner, 51-year-old Jeffery Petracco, had evicted tenants Etta J. Harrington, 68, and and Mary R. Mortensen, 72, earlier in the day for failure to pay their rent, authorities said.
Firefighters who responded contacted a Pinellas County Hazardous Materials Team because of the smell.
Upon entering, the HAZMAT Team found the cats inside the residence living in poor conditions.
Pinellas County Animal Services responded and took possession of the animals.
Harrington and Mortensen were not at the home during the investigation.
No charges have been filed pending further investigation.