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Brevard animal-cruelty suspects out of jail after 57 animals die in house fire

Jacquelyn Traum, 67, Daniel Brantley, 55, post $45K bonds

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A man and woman charged with several counts of animal cruelty, after deputies said 57 animals died in a house fire earlier this month, bonded out of jail Tuesday.

Deputies said Jacquelyn Traum, 67, and Daniel Brantley, 55, both of Merritt Island, inhumanely housed a large number of animals within a small space. The matter of confinement contributed to the death of 57 animals that were unable to escape a fire at the house at 473 Kennwood Ave. on Jan. 11.

Speaking with News 6 outside the jail Tuesday, Brantley denied the accusations and said he's not an animal hoarder.

When deputies arrived at the home Jan. 11, Traum and Brantley were attempting to remove dogs from the home, but it quickly filled with smoke, halting any further rescue attempts.

Fourteen Australian Shepherds and one cat were rescued.

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Seven of the dogs were taken in by the SPCA Titusville. The adoption center said it's matched all of the dogs with new owners.

Special plans were also made for the other half-dozen rescued dogs.

Brevard County Sheriff's Office Animal Service personnel discovered the condition of the house in "deplorable and representative of animal hoarding," resulting "in inhumane and unsanitary living conditions."

News 6 recorded Brantley at the scene surrendering the surviving dogs to Animal Services.

"I got as many out as I could," he said. "Now, get out of my face."

Traum and Brantley are charged with four felony counts of animal cruelty causing death, pain and suffering and 74 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

Their house on Kenwood Avenue remains condemned.


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