PEARL, MS (WLBT) - The home of the Pearl couple accused of hoarding animals is no longer standing. Crews knocked it down Monday morning because it was deemed unfit for human habitation.
In April, authorities discovered over 30 cats and dogs inside the home of Paula and Gerald Keyes. Four dead dogs were found in a freezer in the garage. And officials say all flooring was soaked with urine and feces.
The Keyes lived in the home on Upper Drive with a four year-old child. Some neighbors say they're glad the home is gone.
Connie Seaney told us, "I'm just grateful. Just really grateful. I just feel more comfortable and I'm not afraid anymore and I think it's just wonderful."
The Keyes pleaded no contest earlier this month to over 100 misdemeanor charges between the two of them..." More & video
Oct 14, 2009: "Animal Hoarding" couple fights to keep their home
By Cheryl Lasseter
PEARL, MS (WLBT) - On Wednesday, Paula Keyes videotaped the crews pulling all of her family's belongings out of her house, against her will.
"I'm gonna turn it over to some attorneys because I intend to sue the biohazard company and the City of Pearl," she says.
The city's mayor and board of aldermen have voted to demolish the house, deemed unfit for human habitation. Gerald and Paula Keyes were arrested back in April when authorities discovered unsanitary conditions inside. At least 28 animals lived in the home with the couple and their son, Dakota, who just turned four. Gerald and Paula both spent a few months in jail, and pleaded no contest to the charges. Dakota remains in the custody of D.H.S.
"He's in a foster home right now. We're gonna go to court, fight to get him back," Paula says. "They have refused to let us back in the home to get what's left in there."
Paula says she and Gerald were given 30 days to clean their property, but they were in jail for most of that time. She says they really only had 27 hours to work on it, which she says was not enough time to remove the 60 percent of their belongings that remained inside before Wednesday's clean-up.
Paula has submitted several appeals regarding the house demolition. All of the appeals are handwritten, and it doesn't seem they're making much of a difference..." More & video
Apr 21, 2009 Couple Charged With Animal Cruelty Ordered To Clean House
Apr 4, 2009: 28 animals found in squalid Pearl home
3-year-old living in feces-laden house with sick dogs, cats; cruelty charges faced
Pearl Animal Control officer Heather Rogers said the smell of urine was overpowering at Keyes’ home, and feces was on every surface inside the house.
“On the couch, on the floors, kennels and crates,” she said. “Not only were there animals living in those conditions, the child was living in those conditions.”
The house was declared unfit for human habitation, Pearl police Capt. Ronnie Conerly said.
Conerly said late Friday afternoon he had discovered records that officers responded to a call at Keyes’ home in 2005 requesting a welfare check on a juvenile. At that time, officers noted a bad smell and found 20 to 30 cats in the home. The investigation was turned over to Animal Control.
Apr 4, 2009: Two kittens, two puppies from Pearl home euthanized