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12-283 Deputies Arrest Man For Animal Cruelty After Kittens Are Discovered In Freezer

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau

Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)

Rodney J. Blanchard (Arrested)
DOB: 07/21/1963
Address: 7570 46th Avenue North, Lot # 175, St. Peterburg.
Arrested for four-counts animal cruelty and one-count battery.

Eva Mulder (Complainant)
DOB: 11/08/1974
Address: 7570 46th Avenue North, Lot 273, St. Petersburg

1 female kitten- calico and white, deceased.
3 male kittens – orange and white, turned over to SPCA.
Kittens are about 6-weeks old.

Deputies have arrested a St. Peterburg man for four-counts animal cruelty; and one-count battery after a visitor to his home discovered four kittens inside a freezer, attempted to remove them and was pushed away by the suspect. One of the kittens is dead.

Deputies responded to the residence at about 5:33 p.m. on Sunday, December 2, 2012.

Deputies responded to 7570 46th Avenue North, Lot 175, St. Petersburg.

According to deputies, the complainant, identified as 38-year-old Eva Mulder, was visiting the home of the suspect 49-year-old Rodney J. Blanchard. Deputies say Blanchard asked Mulder to get a beer out of the freezer. When she did not find any beer, Blanchard told her that there were kittens inside the freezer. Mulder took a closer look, saw the kittens and attempted to remove them from the freezer. Blanchard pushed her aside and told her to get out. Mulder went home and reported the finding to the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies responded to Blanchard’s residence to conduct a welfare check on the animals.  As deputies approached the freezer they heard several kittens’ meow. When the deputies opened the freezer door they observed four kittens inside individual sandwich bags on the bottom shelf.

One kitten, a calico and white one, was unresponsive. The three others, orange and white in color, were alive and meowing. Deputies gathered all four and wrapped them in a blanket to keep them warm. Deputies further observed the kittens were covered with fleas. All were cold to the touch and shaking; and one of the orange and white kittens was having difficulty breathing.

Deputies transported the kittens to the Emergency Care Center At Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialist in Largo for further care. The SPCA responded to the scene and the kittens are currently in their custody.

Deputies arrested Blanchard for four counts felony cruelty to animals; and one count misdemeanor battery. He was transported to the Pinellas County Jail without further incident.

An adult cat was found in the home unharmed. This cat is also in the custody of SPCA.  Two other outdoor cats were found in the vicinity of the home. They were also unharmed.

The investigation continues.

 Rodney J. Blanchard

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