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Tampa man jailed after officials find exotic pets wasting away

CITRUS PARK — Wolves, snakes and lizards were wasting away inside Winston Tsai's home, authorities said. Filth covered the floor and the stench wafted outside.

It was enough to put Tsai behind bars.

The 29-year-old was arrested Tuesday afternoon on felony animal cruelty charges after investigators found dozens of dead and dying exotic animals at his apartment, 5102 Belmere Parkway, Unit 1607. Creatures included snakes, lizards, spiders and two underweight hybrid wolves, said Hillsborough County Animal Services spokeswoman Marti Ryan.

Tsai was taken to the Hillsborough County Jail and later released on $6,000 bail.

The surviving animals were taken to Animal Services for treatment and will be turned over to rescue groups for adoption.

Sheriff's officials initially said Wednesday that Tsai was a felon in possession of a firearm, which is illegal. That was incorrect.

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Tampa man jailed after officials find exotic pets wasting away 11/25/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 8:48pm]
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