Wayne Homicide Uncovers Animal Hoarding

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NEWFOUNDLAND - A man claims to have accidentally killed his wife at a home in Newfoundland in Wayne County, according to state police.

According to court papers, Bertrand Schroeder told troopers his gun was jammed and went off while he was working to clear it. People who worked with Donna Schroeder at the nearby Dutch Market say they still can't believe what happened to their friend.

"I keep waiting for her to walk around the corner for her to start work. It`s just unbelievable that she`s not here anymore," said Diane Castera of Newfoundland.

Co-workers believe Schroeder abused his wife, and they tried to help put a stop to the problem.

"We all tried, every one of us tried, there was opportunity," said Danielle Caggioni of Newfoundland. "There`s a lot of people out there to help, that tried to help her. I don`t know what he had over her, but this is where it ends up."

Bertrand Schroeder is locked on criminal homicide charges.  He also faces 50 counts of animal cruelty. Troopers say they found dozens of beagles living at the home in deplorable conditions.

"It seems to be getting to be more often, we find these things by accident almost, we get calls every once in awhile, but usually it`s by accident we stumble upon these situations," Luzerne County SPCA Humane Officer Wayne Harvey.

Some of the dogs were taken to the Dessin Animal Shelter near Honesdale, and most look to be in good health.

Some of the beagles are on their way to other area animal shelters, and will be put up for adoption, but others already have a happy home.

The shelter has been flooded with calls for adoptions already, and shelters in Bucks, Luzerne and Wayne counties are taking nearly 15 dogs to help the Dessin Shelter.

"It`s amazing and we couldn`t do it without them, as I mentioned we were out of space yesterday before these beagles came in," said Dara Coslett, Executive Director of the Olga and Dorthea Dessin Society.

The shelter says it will need more donations and help to care for these pups until they all find new places to call home.

Schroeder is scheduled to be in court later next week.