“The specific conditions inside the residence were the worst I have experienced,” Sgt. Robert Broome wrote in court papers
Police have filed charges against a Pennsylvania couple who are accused of child endangerment and animal cruelty.
On Friday, James and Kathleen Chaney were charged after a humane officer found 77 animals and a 14-year-old boy living in dangerous conditions in the couple’s home in Westmoreland County, Penn., according to CBS Pittsburgh. It was on Aug. 14 that officers noticed the child after seizing animals at the property.
“The specific conditions inside the residence were the worst I have experienced in my 15 years as a law enforcement officer and over 20 years as a first responder,” Sgt. Robert Broome wrote in court papers obtained by Penn-Trafford Star. “It is clear these conditions have been in the residence for a long period of time.”
Officials noted the concern began with the smell of rotting trash. Upon further inspection, they found feces on the floors and furniture inside the house, which also had no running water.
"The smell of ammonia was so bad that it actually was burning the inside of my nasal cavity and my eyes,” an officer wrote in documents, explaining that he had to take breaks from being inside the home during the search, reports CBS Pittsburgh.
Cassie Wilson, a volunteer humane officer with nonprofit rescue group All but Furgotten, saw the scene first-hand via HuffPost. She told the outlet everyone was in "shock" and no corner of the home was clear of urine, feces, mold or animals.
“Once the house was clear, we went outside and found more animals,” Wilson said.
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According to the Penn-Trafford Star, the 77 rescued animals included 46 dogs, 23 cats, five guinea pigs, a dove, a chinchilla and a ferret. All of the dogs and cats had fleas and worms. A dog, a bird, a snake and four chickens were also found dead on the property.
Half of the dogs had no access to food or water, the outlet reported.
The boy is the Chaneys' son, and a Child and Youth Services officer claimed the house was not suited for a human to live in, reported CBS Pittsburgh.
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