Things may have gotten out of control for an animal control officer in Columbia County.
Jinece Loughry suddenly resigned her position in Berwick last week before authorities confiscated dozens of animals in her home.
The Animal Resource Center shelter near Millville is now home to twice as many dogs after taking in 33 seized from a home in Berwick.
Officials said a small house on Thirteenth Street was filled with 40 dogs and 24 cats, 64 animals in all.
The home belongs to Jinece Loughry, Berwick’s animal control officer who stepped down last week just as all the animals were discovered.
“I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. It makes me very sad because you realize she had a good heart and was an animal lover who has gotten herself way out of line,” said Linda Bird with the Animal Resource Center.
Bird said the dogs had to have feces and caked urine cut away from their fur. Some of them could barely walk because the animal waste was so thick.
“It was just horrible. Our people went in with masks. I didn’t wear a mask when I went in. I had to put one on and I still couldn’t breathe. It had to be years that the feces was building,” Bird added.
No one answered the door at Loughry’s home, but the sound of dogs barking inside could be heard.
Loughry was allowed to keep a few animals that she or family members personally owned. So far, no charges have been filed.
Neighbor Dora Jean Dunn was surprised to hear about all the animals. “Oh, yes. I had no idea, none whatsoever,” she said. Dunn would see some dogs out in the pens outside, but not 40 of them. “I’m sorry for it, because she was and still is a good neighbor to me.”
At least one neighbor did complain about the house. She said the smell was overwhelming and she feared a health risk in the neighborhood because of all the animals. She did not know how many were in the home, but knew there were a lot. Now, most of them are gone.
Talitha Richardson did not complain, but did say she smelled some animals.
“I talked to her before and she said people would call her because they knew she liked pets and she would try to find homes for them and I think if she couldn’t, she just kept them,” said Richardson.
The Animal Resource Center now has a lot of work to treat all the dogs and find them homes.
Donations can be sent to:
Animal Resource Center
301 A Boone Road
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
To adopt an animal, call 570-854-1909 during the day or 570-356-2387 in the evenings.
To volunteer at the Animal Resource Center, call 570-784-3669.