UPDATE: The 45 animals rescued from a Clearwater home were not in good health and were being used as food, according to officials.
The 22 birds, pig, American alligator and 21 various types of turtles were in cages that were too small and did not have access to food and water, according to Clearwater Police.
Multiple turtles including soft shell and snapping varieties were kept in the backyard pool. The birds, including chickens, roosters and a pheasant, were being kept in a fenced area near a pond and wooded area. The alligator was in a cage in the wooded area.
Victor and Julie Vu could be charged with misdemeanors for animal abuse and possession of an American alligator, according to investigators. They also are in violation of several city code violations.
"Overall the animals were not in good health," said Elizabeth Watts, police spokeswoman. "According to a preliminary investigation, the animals were being used for food."
Dozens of animals were found Thursday at a Clearwater home, including chickens, roosters, a pig, a caged alligator and tortoises swimming in a backyard pool, officials said Thursday.
Police and code enforcement officials showed up at the residence in the 2600 block of Brewton Court shortly after 9 a.m. following a complaint. They had to call in the Humane Society of Pinellas and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to help with the removal of the 45 animals and were still trying to capture some of them Thursday afternoon, police said in a media release.
There were about 45 animals at the home, according to preliminary estimates.
The homeowners, 47-year-old Victor Vu and 43-year-old Julie Vu, face city ordinance violations and a misdemeanor charge for the alligator, public safety spokesperson Elizabeth Watts said.
Charges will be referred to the State Attorney's Office for one or both of the residents, Watts said.
*updated 3:30 p.m. Jan. 10, 2013
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