Thursday, September 16, 2010

Officials describe 'unsanitary' home animals seized from


owa City police and Animal Control officers testified Monday they had to wear hazardous materials suits and respirators when they entered the home of an Iowa City woman Sept. 2 to recover cats and dogs, some of which were long since dead.

Along with several inches of raw sewage in the basement, the officials described Susan Vess' home at 2816 Wayne Ave. as packed to capacity with boxes and other items and food, litter and animal waste covering nearly every surface of the home.

"It was very difficult to enter into the house," animal services officer Willa Hamilton said. "We had to step and climb over things. Everything seemed to be covered in dirt, animal hair (and) animal feces. ... It was very unsanitary."

Animal control seized several cats and dogs from the home earlier this month when they went to the residence and noted the unsanitary conditions. A cat seized from the home died before it could be treated by a veterinarian. When officials returned with a search warrant, they found animals suffering from severe flea infestation and living in decrepit conditions. They also discovered the carcasses of dead cats -- some frozen in two freezers and others just decomposing in the home..." More

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