Boy found in closet of Apple Valley home filled with over 50 animals

A child has been placed with Child Family Services in Apple Valley after he was discovered in a home filled with wood chips and over 50 animals ranging from exotic birds to cats on the property.

Deputies responded to a home in the 13000 block of Cuyamaca Road on May 21 just after 6 p.m. to investigate a reported disturbance. 

At the home, deputies said they found the suspect, 38-year-old Jeddidiah Schulz, refusing to return three cats that belonged to the person who reported him to authorities. 

While speaking with Schulz, authorities noticed a child in the living room with several cats running around. Authorities also smelled an extremely strong odor of cat urine coming from inside the home. 

Once inside, authorities discovered over 50 cats, several exotic birds, lizards, and dogs. 

Authorities said the entire home was covered with wood chips that the cats used as a litter box. 

According to officials, the child was sleeping in the closet on bedding covered in cat urine.

The child was placed in the care of Child Family Services and the recovered animals were tended to by Apple Valley Animal Control.

Schulz was arrested for child cruelty and is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. 

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact Deputy Watson or Detective Lenihan at the Apple Valley Police Department at (760) 240-7400 or Sheriff’s Dispatch at (760) 956-5001. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave the information on the We-Tip website at