“Bizarre” is how Pennsylvania humane officers are characterizing a case of extreme animal hoarding in South Philadelphia. The animals involved, some of which were found dead, ran the gamut from domestic to exotic.
Included in the massive seizure were eight living dogs, eight dead dogs, two dead iguanas, a dead 4-foot alligator, at least three living turtles, and countless frogs, cats, rats, roosters, and tarantulas. Some of the animals were reported to have been mummified.
The house was so overrun with trash and other hoarded items that investigators were inside the premises two hours before they unearthed the first of the dead animals. The stench upon entry was described as unbearable by one official.
PSPCA spokesman George Bengal is quoted as saying:
This is an extremely bizarre case. This is a hoarder situation but I think that the individual who lives in here has every kind of species known to man.
As to the resident, Philadelphia Police found him sitting naked outside the house. The man, who claims to be an agent of the CIA, was taken to a hospital, presumably for a psychiatric evaluation.
This was not the first time humane authorities visited the home, which had long been on their radar, but it was the first time they brought a warrant, which guaranteed access.
The SPCA plans to charge the owner of the home with animal cruelty.
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In a second case, a state away, a brother and a sister have been accused of hoarding sick animals and obstructing justice.
The individuals, Ron Miller, 42, and Karen Miller, 35, face charges of animal cruelty after hoarding 21 cats and a dog in their Washington Court House, Ohio, home.
The animals were found to be living in their own filth as well as amid piles of trash stacked to the ceiling. At least three cats are pregnant, and all suffer with fleas and require medical attention. Several are considered feral, and authorities fear the cats will need to be euthanized.
Humane Agent Danyel Bageant is quoted as saying:
The smell about knocked you out. Your eyes immediately started to burn. Your lungs burned. It smelled very much like ammonia.
Bageant described the scene as likely the county’s worst case of hoarding to date, adding:
They did not have proper litter boxes nor food and water. They did have some food that they tossed in on a daily basis.
The brother and sister dispute the humane society’s allegations. Said Karen Miller:
I watch that show Hoarders and stuff. It’s not that bad as they show on that show.
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