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Woman, 35, now faces charges after dead dogs found in home

Lauren Wendy Kopp, 35, was arrested by Hernando County deputies on four charges of animal cruelty late Saturday night. She was released  Sunday morning on a $8,000 bond. Courtesy Hernando County Sheriff's Office
Lauren Wendy Kopp, 35, was arrested by Hernando County deputies on four charges of animal cruelty late Saturday night. She was released Sunday morning on a $8,000 bond. Courtesy Hernando County Sheriff's Office
Published Mar. 12, 2018

WEEKI WACHEE — A 35-year-old woman was arrested Saturday by Hernando County sheriff's deputies on four charges of animal cruelty, according to jail records. That comes after several dead dogs were removed from her seemingly abandoned home on Wednesday.

Lauren Wendy Kopp was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center about 8:40 p.m. Saturday. She was released early Sunday after posting $8,000 bail, records show.

Last week, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office was investigating how the dogs ended up being left to die inside the house at 11980 Robina Road.

"It is unknown how many dogs there were as they were in the advanced stages of decomposition," sheriff's spokeswoman Denise Moloney said last week.

Hernando County records showed the home is owned by Kopp, who, records show, has claimed it as her primary residence for a homestead exemption since 2012.

A neighbor, Christopher Kirby, said Hernando County Animal Services and the Sheriff's Office initially visited Kopp's abandoned home on Tuesday and then returned Wednesday to remove the carcasses.

At the time, Kopp's attorney, James P. Mancuso, said she was "distraught" by the discovery of the dogs and asked for privacy.

He said Kopp allowed someone "down on his luck" to live in the home. An investigator at the firm said Kopp moved out of her Weeki Wachee home and in with a boyfriend in September.

Kopp was not involved in the death of the dogs, her lawyer said, and had a long history of being an animal lover.