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Man accused of leaving elderly woman to live in pet feces now facing animal cruelty charges

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PLAQUEMINE - Authorities have arrested a man after an elderly woman was found bed-ridden and covered in animal feces. 

According to Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office, the woman was lying in urine and feces that came from 14 cats and two dogs kept in the victim's home. Plaquemine Police and the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office raised questions about the house on Delacroix Street when the victim's neighbors reported not seeing the elderly woman for months. 

When deputies entered the home, they were greeted by a horrible smell and found the whole place in disrepair with signs of animal hoarding. They located the victim, who's in her 70s, lying in a bed.

Sheriff Brett Stassi said officials found more cat food in the house than food for humans. 

"The smell, the feces in the corners of the rooms and just deplorable conditions," Stassi said. "Like it had been turned over to the animals."

Deputies arrested 54-year-old Galen Marcantel Thursday who had been living with the victim, but the two were not related.

"When the smoke cleared it was mostly [Marcantel] using his authority to override her home and her finances," Stassi said.

Authorities learned that Marcantel had lived with the victim for a while, but did not allow her to see her family. Marcantel even filed a restraining order against them. Authorities believe he has been taking advantage of her finances as well.

The victim, who is wheel-chair bound, would reportedly spend lots of time laying in bed and was often left alone for hours at a time. 

Neighbors were shocked to learn of the conditions inside the home, but were well aware of the excess of animals at the home. 

"Five, ten cats outside sometimes," a neighbor told WBRZ. "Several dogs, but mainly cats outside. They let the dogs in and out, but several cats."

This latest incident is not the first time law enforcement has received a complaint about Marcantel.

"This may be the second house or third house where we have gone over and taken animals," Stassi said.

Marcantel was booked into the parish jail on suspicion of cruelty to persons with infirmities. On Monday, Marcantel was additionally charged with five counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and another count of cruelty to animals.

Stassi tells WBRZ, Marcantel was also served with a restraining order Monday, barring him from contacting the victim.

The woman was brought to a hospital for treatment, and the animals were also removed. 

A judge is expected to set a bond for the new animal cruelty charges Tuesday.

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