Numerous animals removed from home in Lighthouse Point

Accused animal abuser in custody, Lighthouse Point police say

LIGHTHOUSE POINT, Fla. – An accused animal abuser was in custody on Friday night, after authorities found several animals dead and some alive with signs of abuse and neglect inside a home in Lighthouse Point.

Local 10 News reporter Jeff Weinsier was at the scene at 2230 NE 38th St. and said dozens of animals were taken out of the home, including 10 dogs, 56 cats that were alive and four dead cats.

Traps were set to capture other cats that authorities were unable to pick up.

Police said they also found animal feces two to three inches thick throughout the home.

"I know she had a lot of cats. They called her the cat lady, and there was an odor lately. I never knew she had dogs," neighbor Jane Crowley said. "I had to figure something like that was going on after we kept smelling the smell. It wasn't as bad as it is now."

According to police, one of the dogs escaped from the home several days ago and bit another dog.

The dog was taken to a veterinarian and was determined to be in poor condition.

"She had three dogs back there. They were all starved (and) missing hair," neighbor Zachary Damon said.

Records show that the homeowner and accused animal hoarder, Linda Giaccio, 69, was previously cited for similar accusations in Pompano Beach.

She was also arrested in 2001 in South Carolina while moving to Florida. Charleston police said 60 cats, including three dead ones, were found inside her hot minivan during the road trip.

She was charged with animal neglect.

Police said Giaccio was initially cooperating with the latest investigation, but now is nowhere to be found.

Neighbors said she has owned the home for 16 years, but might have just been hoarding the animals at the house and living somewhere else.

"It has always been a problem. This is the first time they have done this," Damon said. "She came back and left., came back and left."

Giaccio is expected to face animal cruelty charges.


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