Animal Abuse Charges Filed In Luzerne County

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KINGSTON TOWNSHIP -- A woman was charged Friday with animal abuse in Luzerne County. She is accused of abandoning more than a dozen dogs after she was evicted.

Authorities filed 69 charges against Karen Reilly, 50, of Edwardsville.They accuse her of abandoning 19 dogs when she was evicted back in September.  Some of the animals died.

Kingston Township police say when she moved out, she left the dogs behind with little food or water.

Shielding her face with court papers and refusing to answer questions, Reilly left an arraignment alone after she was charged with more 69 counts of animal cruelty and failing to have her dogs licensed and vaccinated.

“Very glad to hear that something has finally happened to this lady. She needs to be charged,” said Carol Coutant of Kingston Township.

Newswatch 16 was there in September when crews in hazmat suits removed dogs from Reilly's mobile home on Echo Valley Drive near Dallas.

Kingston township police say Reilly abandoned the dogs after she was evicted, leaving the 19 animals with little food or water.

Authorities say seven dogs were found dead and12 others survived.

Peggy Phillips says she knew Reilly for eight years but had no idea how many dogs she owned.

“They were all healthy. And then all of a sudden we’d never see any garbage out there. We’d never see them around. But you’d hear the dogs barking.”

Neighbors tell us they are relieved that Reilly has been charged with animal cruelty and that her home is now gone. Authorities say the place was so filthy that they had it demolished back in October. All that’s left is a concrete pad.

“He started cleaning the inside out. He said ‘my God.’ He said ‘I didn’t even want to go in to touch it.’ That’s how filthy it was,” said neighbor John Pytell.

While out walking his dog Sasha, Pytell says he's glad the mobile home is gone and the case has not been forgotten.

All 69 charges are misdemeanors that could result in fines or jail time.

Some neighbors say they're surprised that Reilly was released without having to post any bail.

“I think she ought to go to jail. I do, I think she ought to go to jail,” said Dave Williams of Kingston Township.

“They should be stronger, especially for multiple things like this,” Coutant added.

Reilly was released without having to post bail but the judge said she will have to surrender a dog she owns now in Edwardsville.

The SPCA says all 12 dogs that survived have been adopted or are in foster homes.


  • Hildy

    I don’t understand why there is no bail set. Also, how come none of these charges are a felony? Come on 7 dogs died and that’s not a felony?

  • Lauren

    This is EXACTLY why this goes on to the degree that it does!! TOO small of punishment for people who abuse or neglect animals! It’s BS! Until governments on city, state and national level buck up and strengthen protection and rights for animals this will just continue…I mean DUH!

  • Jennifer Shedlock

    So happy that she was finally charged, Snuggles one of the dogs rescued is doing very well, she is a very loving and affectionate dog!! Couldn’t be happier to know that she will not be able to hurt anymore animals!!! Thank you to the SPCA and the others involved in rescuing the dogs that night, Snuggles thanks you also!!!

    • Lauren

      We’ll unless she gets punished severely she may just do it again. So far no jail time or big fines. I have seen these people do this over and over.

    • Robyn Wood

      I’m so glad to hear of a happy ending for at least one of the dogs… I wonder about each and every one of those dogs that had to be carried out that night.. Thank you for posting.



  • Sundown

    So my questions are these, did she notify animal control or ASPCA that she heeded to leave the dogs behind? Obviously she couldn’t take them with her, since she was tenant, and not the owner, does not the owners of the property have any responsibility in this situation to report that there are abandoned dogs on the premises?

    • Robyn Wood

      Its not exactly a landlord/tenant situation here. She financed the home thorugh the owner/ using him as the bank essentially. Which is why this happened. Normally with a landlord tenant situation there would be an inspection or sorts I guess. Since he acted as the bank, its a bit different. No she didn’t notify anyone , she intentionally left them behind and as you can see , where she moved to she got another dog!!! She was doing this while living in the home .They found additional dogs later on , already bagged while getting the home ready for demolition. I don’t know why she isn’t being charged with this!!! and why its not getting reported.. That is why there was a garbage issue I think . She was putting the garbage behind her house instead of putting it out front . We have free garbage in case you were wondering so there would be no other reason to do that. I think she feared being caught…

  • Huh

    The homeless live in horrible conditions. People in other countries suffer the same life. Where is everyone’s outrage about that?

    • Vanessa

      This has got to be a joke.. Number one those animals were not in another country, Number two a homeless person is much better off then the conditions those dogs were left with.. A homeless person is a human being who can fend for themselves by begging for food & money, going to a shelter for food.. etc. These are dogs were talking about they cant just open the door and walk outside and ask for help. They were left inside a trailer with no way to get out, What did you want them to eat each other?

    • Tracy

      What do we care about people in other country’s? As for the homeless, their are shelters for them, and they can speak and as for help!!!! Animals can’t. Wtf was she doing with 19 dogs anyway. Get a clue

  • Vanessa

    Are you slow? I’m sure if any normal person were “walking in her shoes” they wouldn’t leave all those animals in a mobile home! There are organizations and shelters that she could have easily called to try to find the animals another home! For you to talk about Karma?? That evil women has enough karma coming after her for a lifetime. Speaking your mind about some dirt bag leaving helpless animals to die is not a klan rally.. its only fair and eye for an eye! How idiotic can you be calling her a brave women! I would LOVE to know what your view on bravery is?

  • Vanessa

    Obviously she would have to surrender her dog.. but what about the 7 dogs that had there lives taken from starving to death, and the 12 that had to go through all that suffering. That’s sick, she knew what was going to happen.. and whats wrong with the landlord that evicted her? Did he not go to the mobile home at all after evicting someone? People need to be held accountable for there actions..

    • Robyn Wood

      Its strange here the way our park works.. The former owner of the park would basically finance the home to some residents , instead of the resident getting a bank loan to own the home. New owners took over the development a few years ago. So the former owner still kept the loans open but wasn’t really around. So she didn’t pay her mortgage so he evicted her. She would have been the home owner and he was essentially like the bank.


    This is awful. No Bail. I would have made sure she was sitting in jail. The laws needs to improve on Animal Abuse. Shame on her.

  • V K Mcandrew

    What’s her punishment? No Bail? These abusers need to pay for there acts of cruelty. There is no excuse for this to happen to animals. Shame on this cold hearted thing of a human. . May she starve to death and beg for a drink of water……..,,and never own another animal. She doesn’t deserve the love they give!
    ,,,I’m getting sick and tired of these people walking away from this crime while others( rescues) have to step in and clean up the mess. Most of which are volunteers. Why? Because of their love of animals.

  • Hilari

    Released without bail. Figures. Barely even a slap on the wrist no doubt! There is a special place in hell for people like this….AND the system!

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