CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WKRG) — A mother and son face 18 counts of animal cruelty after animal services found dead and starving dogs at a home in Crestview.

A tip to PAWS led Crestview Animal Services and the police department to the home. Police would not release the location to WKRG News 5, but said they found one dead dog and 18 others at the home in terrible condition.

Police said all of the dogs were starving. 4 of them had been left outside in cages with no food or water. Officers found 14 others inside the home with no provisions and a single fan running for airflow.

“The condition of the residence was extreme.”

Crestview Police Department

Police arrested Cheryl A. Nitzke, 49, and Maurice Anthony Nitzke, 28, at the home. The pair is booked in Okaloosa County Jail charged with felony causing animals death and 18 counts of animal cruelty. Bonds for each of them have been set to $21,500.

The police department would like to thank the anonymous caller that provided the initial tip to PAWS, which will allow the dogs to have a better quality of life. Today was an excellent example of multiple departments working together for a great cause.

Crestview Police Department

Crestview Police said the dogs will be put up for adoption in the coming days. WKRG News 5 reached out to Crestview Animal Services for an update on the rescued dog’s conditions.

To report animal issues in Crestview, call animal services at (850) 682-2055. The new building opened in August and staff is working through police dispatch until the office is up and fully operating.

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