Monday, May 10, 2010

87 dogs seized in Chester County, woman charged

By Matt Garfield and Kimberly Dick

Chester County authorities seized 87 dogs from a woman's house after finding the animals among mice, cockroaches and an overwhelming stench.

The 76-year-old owner, charged with ill treatment to animals according to an incident report, said she had been sick and in anguish over the loss of her daughter.

Officers on Wednesday found cages and playpens stacked inside the house. In the backyard, dogs were kept in three sheds and six kennels.

Authorities were tipped off by a woman who went to the house to buy a Chihuahua for her granddaughter. Jerry Shepherd said the odor almost knocked her over.

The smell of urine was so strong that officers had to wear masks, reports stated. One of the sheds had to be ventilated for several hours before authorities could go inside.

The dogs -- Chihuahuas, poodles, Yorkies and mixed-breeds -- appeared to have no food and water, and their cages were covered in feces, authorities reported.

When officers told owner Melissa Elizabeth Lyles they would have to seize the dogs, she asked for one more day to clean up the property, according to an incident report....." More & video & slideshow

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