Woman accused of animal neglect faced similar charges before

Linda Mae Castillo allowed to own more pets after neglecting 70 dogs, cats

DELTONA, Fla. – One of the women accused of neglecting nine dogs in her Deltona home has faced similar charges before.

According to court documents, Linda Mae Castillo, 74, is accused of keeping those dogs in cages stacked high in her living room.

[RELATED: 9 dogs seized from Deltona home]

Investigators said they found some of the dogs drenched in urine and feces, and some of the cages were infested with cockroaches.

News 6 found out Castillo was convicted of similar charges more than a decade ago.

She was placed in handcuffs and booked in the Volusia County Jail in September 2005 after investigators found nearly 70 dogs and cats living in stacked cages at another home.

"Long-haired cats, but you cannot tell that they're long-haired," Animal Control worker Kathy Fick told News 6 in our coverage of the story. "They have so much urine caked on them that they're soaked down to their fur, and their fur is just matted to their body."

The conditions were so bad, heavy equipment had to be brought in to remove some of the cages. Many of the animals in that case had to be put down.

That prompted PETA -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- to ask the Office of the State Attorney to ban Castillo from ever owning animals again. That didn't happen, and a judge gave Castillo a probated sentence.

Last week, News 6 visited the dogs seized in her new case at the Halifax Humane Society, where veterinarians are working to help the dogs recover from infections that were left untreated.

Castillo and her roommate, Samantha Hamilton, told investigators they want to fight for their dogs' return. They have a court date Feb. 28 at the Volusia County Courthouse.

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