Citrus County Animal Rescue Owner Facing Animal Cruelty Charges

Citrus County, FL. (Florida News Network)- A Citrus County man is facing 25 counts of cruelty to animal charges with additional charges pending, after deputies found dozens of animals living in deplorable conditions at what is supposed to be an animal rescue operation. The Citrus County Sheriff's Office say they received several complaints regarding the conditions at the Out of the Box Animal Rescue in Floral City. During their initial investigation, 56 year old Robert Schweickert was cited for violating several county code ordinances

Some of the most disturbing conditions discovered included dogs locked inside bathrooms with no windows or lights, with urine covered floors. One dog was found living in an old walk-in freezer type unit that doubled as a storage room. The unit was similar to the box of a moving van - completely metal, no windows, no electricity, and no ventilation.

A total of 43 dogs, 3 hens, and 1 pig were removed and transported to the Citrus County Animal Shelter.

If you suspect animal cruelty, abuse or neglect, please speak up. The best thing you can do is report your suspicions of animal abuse/cruelty to the Citrus County Sheriff's Office Non-emergency line at (352)249-2790. When reporting animal abuse/cruelty, please try to gather as much information as possible, including names of people, the exact address of the animal(s), and a description of the animal(s).

Remember, these precious animals cannot speak up for themselves, they need the help of courageous citizens like YOU!

Photo credit: Citrus Count Sheriff's Office