North Port man sentenced for multiple animal cruelty charges

Posted at 5:59 AM, Mar 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-15 14:32:43-04

A North Port man will spend nearly half a year in prison for animal cruelty charges.

Sixty-year-old Andy Gerberich was facing 45 years in prison. He pleaded guilty to half of the 61 animal cruelty charge against him and was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days in jail.

Last June, Animal Service officers removed 26 cats and nine dead cats from Gerberich's home in Heron Creek Golf and Country Club. Most of the dead cats were skeletal remains.

He told detectives he rescued the animals but could not care for them due to financial difficulties.

Gerberich pleaded guilty to eight counts of aggravated animal cruelty and 35 counts of confinement of an animal without water or food. He also faced seven years of probation but will only have to serve four of those years.

In 2010, Gerberich was named North Port’s Citizen of the Year.