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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wood, Donna

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 3/4/2011 

 Polk County Sheriff's Office Investigating Animal Hoarders - 184 Dogs Removed from Rat Infested Residence 

On Thursday, March 3, 2011, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office charged two Lakeland residents with Animal Cruelty after finding 184 dogs and two cats living inside and outside of the residence located at 825 Miranda Trail, Lakeland.

The homeowners are 71-year-old Elizabeth H. Roden, DOB 02/21/1940, and 61-year-old Bradley M. Roden, DOB 11/16/1941.  Both are charged with 40 counts of Cruelty to Animals.  Due to Elizabeth's age and medical condition, she was given a notice to appear in court.  Bradley is currently being booked into the Polk County Jail for Possession of a Short Barreled Shotgun.  He is also being given a notice to appear in court for 40 Counts for Animal Cruelty.

On March 2, 2011, a PCSO Deputy responded to the residence after receiving a request form Marion County Sheriff's Office regarding a February 2011 case in which multiple animals were seized from a motor home in Dunnellion.  The motor home's registration came back to 825 Miranda Trail, Lakeland.

While on scene, the deputy observed, in plain view, approximately sixty dogs running in and out of the residence.   Dogs could be heard barking form inside the residence as well.  When the deputy attempted to make contact with residents inside the home, an unknown person closed the door and no one responded to the deputy.

Deputes executed a search warrant at approximately 5:30 pm, and located 184 dogs living inside and outside of the residence. 102 dogs and 2 cats were surrendered to the Polk County Sheriff's Office and 82 were seized from the suspects on scene.  A number of the dogs were confined to small cages. 

Conditions in the home were very poor, including dog feces on the floor, cockroaches and flies infestation, and generally dirty conditions.

While securing the dogs and searching for additional dogs in the master bedroom closet, a short barreled shotgun was located which had a 16 inch barrel. Bradley Roden spontaneously stated that he uses the shotgun to shoot rats.