Deputies: Animal hoarding house condemned


SAN MATEO, Fla. – A San Mateo home filled with about 70 animals was condemned Thursday afternoon, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

The animals, which included about 50 dogs, four birds, one horse and 15 cats, were captured and removed by Putnam County Animal Control, deputies said.


The Department of Children and Families requested an escort for a welfare check Thursday for the home on Kyte Road, where two developmentally challenged adults live.

The deputy who performed the check found the two adults were safe, but that the two other adults in charge of the residence, 71-years-old George Murwin and 56-year-old Laura Murwin, were also housing dozens of animals and that the home was in deplorable condition, the Sheriff's Office said.

The deputy found the home covered in animal urine, dog and bird feces, and bird seed. He also noticed one of the birds devoid of feathers except on its neck and head. The house was not air conditioned and had all of the windows open.


A horse was in the backyard with very little water and its hooves had not been trimmed, causing them to split and turn under.

The deputy also found one dead puppy inside the house with its head caught in a wire panel of a dog cage. All of the live animals inside of the house appeared to be fed and watered.

The deputy called in the county Codes Enforcement and Animal Control teams. Both agencies responded to the scene. Because of the deplorable and poor structural condition of the house, it was condemned by Codes Enforcement and everyone required to move out, deputies said.


The animal control officer was able to capture all of the animals with the exception of a few cats that were roaming outside, deputies said.

This case is still pending, and awaiting the conclusion of Putnam County Animal Control's investigation. The Stewart Marchman Center is providing shelter for the two developmentally challenged adults.