About 40 animals living in poor conditions rescued from Beaver County property
DAUGHERTY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A Beaver County humane officer said officials seized about 40 animals from a property in Daugherty Township on Friday.
A neighbor said the rescue lasted several hours. At this time, arrests are pending.
When Shawn Twisdom got home from an errand, he was surprised to see trucks and law enforcement vehicles parked up and down Taylor Drive.
"There was a trailer, two police vehicles that I had to go around, and there were one, two, four vehicles parked in my driveway," Twisdom said.
It wasn't long before he went over to an official, who told him what was going on.
"'We're taking all the animals away up there,'" Twisdom said.
In an exclusive interview with KDKA-TV, Humane officer Tristan Wenzig said officials were executing a search warrant after finding multiple animals living in poor conditions on Thursday.
"There was a huge aroma of feces and urine. It just came pouring out of the door," Wenzig said.
On the property in Daugherty Township, he said he saw feces from a variety of animals inside the home and in a barn.
"One dog that I saw had a cage that was filled with feces, all caked to the bottom of its crate," Wenzig said.
In total, officials seized about 40 animals, including eight dogs, six chinchillas, two hedgehogs, a bunny, a donkey, an alpaca, and horses and goats, some of which appeared thin and sick.
Officers also discovered two horses, two bunnies, and two to three goats dead in what looked like a burn pit.
"Whenever an animal, a farm animal that's deceased, you would burn them, which would be a compost pile," Wenzig said.
When it comes to hedgehogs, they're illegal to own in Pennsylvania.
"You actually have to have a permit, and you would have to go through the Pa. Game Commission to get that permit," Wenzig said.
It could be one of the possible charges coming out of this case. Officers are still figuring out what they may be as vets check out the animals. However, they're looking into aggravated cruelty to animals, cruelty to animals and neglect to animals.
"I just don't know how someone can live like that as a human, let alone let an animal live in those conditions too," Wenzig said.
As for Twisdom, he had some concerns over the years and now hopes the animals will be OK.
"I feel better off knowing that the animals are going to be taken care of," Twisdom said.
Humane officers are expected to file charges early next week, which could impact more than one person.
Wenzig said behavioral health workers, New Brighton police, North Sewickley police and a code enforcement officer assisted them.
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