Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19377
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: cat, cow
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Thursday, Mar 1, 2012

County: Charlotte

Disposition: Alleged
Case Images: 6 files available

» Miriam Arango
» Ephram Poirer
» Maida Mateo-Garcia

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

Animal welfare officers pulled emaciated cows, bulls and cats from a Charlotte County home. And while 21 animals are now getting the care they need - others weren't as lucky.

Two dead kittens and a cat were found on Huffmaster Road in Punta Gorda at the same home animal control officers raided in 2008.

When Animal Control officers received a tip about the isolated property, frustration was quick to follow.

That's because they say it's very rare that a judge will keep someone from owning animals - even if they were part of one of the largest animal seizures in Charlotte County history.

On Miriam Arango's property, there is dirt, trash and feces everywhere. And pulled from that property were 13 cats, four cows, and a bull.

In 2008, animal control took an astonishing 214 animals from the same property and many of those had to be put down.

Brian Jones, with Charlotte County Animal Control, explained that a year later, Arango was arrested on animal cruelty charges and ended up serving probation.

Reporter Steve Campion: Every viewer is sitting at home saying, 'How is she allowed to have animals again?'
Jones: I don't have the answer to that question. It's hard to believe a person convicted of a crime like that would be able to have animals in the future.

Arango hasn't been home. But animal control officers say she claims the animals weren't hers - that she simply allowed other people to board them there.

They say this is an open animal cruelty investigation and charges could follow.

Case Updates

A horrific case of animal cruelty was argued in court on Wednesday after 24 animals were found living in horrible conditions on a property off Huffmaster Road in Charlotte County two weeks ago.

The animals' owners, Ephram Poirer, Olga Arango, and Maida Mateo-Garcia, pushed back hard for nearly four hours against the claims that the animals were left to starve, fend for themselves, and live in utter filth.

Animal control officers claimed that pictures prove that the 16 cats, 4 cows, 3 birds and one bull are better off under their control.

In the end, the judge sided with animal control, describing the conditions as "deplorable."

Now that the animals are the property of Charlotte County Animal Control, some will be up for adoption, others will be auctioned off.

As for criminal charges, the investigation is still ongoing and a decision has not yet been made.
Source: - Mar 14, 2012
Update posted on Mar 15, 2012 - 9:20AM 


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