MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. (AP) - Two people have been arrested after more than 50 animals died in a Merritt Island house fire earlier this month.
News outlets report 67-year-old Jacquelyn Traum and 55-year-old Daniel Brantley were taken into custody Monday. They face nearly 80 counts of animal cruelty charges after investigators say they inhumanely housed a large amount of animals within a small space under "deplorable" conditions.
Brevard County sheriff's deputies say having so many animals led to overcrowding, which likely contributed to the deaths of the pets that were unable to escape the Jan. 11 fire.
The animals killed included 45 cats, a parrot and at least four dogs and a raccoon. Fifteen other pets were rescued and remain in the care of animal service workers.
It's unclear if Traum and Brantley have attorneys.
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