Crime & Courts
Deputies: Tampa man had 22 dead cats in freezers
A Tampa man was charged with felony animal cruelty Thursday after Hillsborough County deputies say he had 22 dead cats in a freezer and lived with dozens more. Deputies executing a court-authorized eviction notice on James Hopkins, 63, on Thursday morning at his 10706 Annette Ave. home found him living with 30 to 40 cats. Deputies say Hopkins then went outside and immediately forced 31 cats into four small carriers. He hid them in two nearby foreclosed properties and along a property line. The cats were lined up three to four deep and were lying on top of each other, deputies say. They were without food, water or sufficient air.Deputies tended to the cats until animal control personnel arrived. Deputies also say they found 22 dead cats in two freezers. Hopkins was charged with felony animal cruelty and 20 counts of misdemeanor improper confinement.