Animals Taken From Schuylkill County Home

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BUTLER TOWNSHIP -- Inside the Hillside SPCA in Schuylkill County, thirsty guinea pigs took a drink of water.

The animals were among dozens taken from a home in Butler Township near Ashland Wednesday.

SPCA workers said Tuesday night, police were called to the home along Fountain Street when a small dog was killed by larger ones. Officers came to investigate and then called the SPCA.

"We felt like throwing up as soon as we saw it and then we got down, the first part I went to was the basement, and you could barely see anything to get dow,n and then you saw these dirty crates full of guinea pigs, there were rabbits running around, you heard the pig in the background it was awful. I didn't think anyone could have that many animals in that small space," said SPCA worker Kezzie Meyers.

Inside the home, SPCA workers said they found animals, dead and alive, living in filthy conditions.

Dozens of birds, at least 17 rabbits, more than 25 guinea pigs, more than a dozen dogs, even tortoises and two mallard ducks were found.

In the basement, in a cage, they said there was a pot-bellied pig.

Those workers said none of the animals had any water.

"I've never seen animals so thirsty in the whole time I'm here. The guinea pigs and rabbits were fighting over the water, that's how thirsty they were. It was pathetic. Birds had no water, dogs had no water, cats, no water," said SPCA manager Barbara Umlauf.

Some of the animals were loaded into two vans and taken from the home to the Hillside SPCA. They will be put up for adoption.

SPCA workers said this is a case they will not soon forget.

"I do believe that they're animal lovers, but they're in way over their heads," said Humane Officer Janine Choplick.

"Everywhere you looked there was something dead, so it was pretty awful," said Meyers.

The folks with the SPCA said the couple who had the animals has not been charged with anything.

Hillside SPCA is now in desperate need of donations to care for the animals they took Wednesday, including rabbit and guinea pig food.

Hillside SPCA
P.O. Box 233
Pottsville, PA 17901