Woman Charged with Animal Cruelty After Multiple Dogs Found Dead in Vacant Home
WEEKI WACHEE – Last Wednesday, RNRF broke the news of an investigation into the death of three dogs, found inside a vacant residence on Robina Road.
Neighbors we spoke to were outraged and blamed the homeowner for leaving the dogs inside the residence without food or water to die a long and agonizing death.
Despite vehemently denying the claims, 35-year-old Lauren Wendy Kopp of 11380 Paoli Court was arrested last night and charged with 4-counts of Animal Cruelty.
Kopp was booked into the Hernando County Jail and posted an $8,000 bond just four hours later.
There are no further details on the case at this time.
WARNING: Contains Disturbing Images
WEEKI WACHEE – The sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of three dogs, after neighbors say the homeowner left them unattended inside a residence on Robina Road for several months.
Christopher Kirby contacted RNRF on Tuesday, after he called the Sheriff’s Office to report seeing one of the dead dogs lying inside the residence. Deputies did not make entry into the home yesterday, but they returned today, and with the owner’s permission they entered and located three dead “Pit Bull” type dogs.
Even with the doors and windows closed on the residence, the odor of decomposition could be smelled from the surrounding streets. Kirby and other neighbors were concerned that human remains might be inside, because they say the homeowner allowed “a known-drug user” to live in the residence since last September.
I spoke to Kirby outside the residence today, where he said, “The lady that owns this home had up to six dogs and I know that for a fact because we’ve brought them back to her when they got loose.” He explained, “We haven’t seen anyone in this home since Hurricane week. When a big van pulled up, we thought she was there to pick the animals up. She didn’t. She left the animals here to starve to death and die.”
Pat Pierce lives next door to the home and she says, “We knocked on the door in September and didn’t hear dogs barking.” Peirce broke down in tears when she said, “My son who’s twelve said to me. . . My son said, ‘mom I think I hear dogs barking,’ I said, she doesn’t live here anymore son.” Pierce became growingly upset when she thought about having to tell her son the truth about the dog’s fate.
During my interview with neighbors, two Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on scene, as did the homeowner. When Pierce saw the woman approaching, she confronted her and screamed, “They were here! (the dogs) You’re a liar. You killed your dogs!” Deputies separated Pierce and the homeowner to prevent the conflict from escalating.
A “spokesperson” for the homeowner, who wished to remain anonymous, tells RNRF that the dogs were not “his client’s.” He also suggested that squatters may have lived in the home and the dogs could have belonged to anyone.
Someone posted signs on the garage door of the home that stated, “3 Dead” and “Dog Killer.”
A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office declined to comment at this time.
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