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Cat-lover charged with animal cruelty

The unique cat-lover who kept hundreds cats at his house full of animal waste was charged with animal cruelty.

The floor of Jonathan Terpstra's home was covered with a layer of animal feces between 2 and 3 inches (5 and 8 centimeters) deep, authorities said. As many as 300 cats were found, the Ocala Star-Banner reported in its Tuesday editions.

Terpstra, 61, was charged Friday with 55 counts of animal cruelty, two counts of tampering with evidence and one count of resisting without violence.

An animal cruelty investigator visited the home five years ago, but no violations were found.

In March 2002, an air conditioning repairman called the county to ask for an investigation of the home. The repairman reported seeing 400 cats inside the home - some of them dead and others without hair on their backs - and feces all over the house. The repairman also reported about 75 dogs outside.

Lead Animal Cruelty Investigator Ron Henry went to the property. His report states that 30 dogs were seen on the property, and all the dogs appeared healthy and had food, water and shelter. The report did not mention any cats.

Henry said that when he made the inspection five years ago, a locked gate kept him from getting onto the property.

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