Dead dogs, cats found in Port Richmond

PORT RICHMOND - September 30, 2009 SPCA officials were called out to a house in the 2500 block of Monmouth Street on Wednesday afternoon for an animal cruelty investigation.

The homeowner, Virginia Wetzl, 65, had a warrant out for her arrest for failing to show up in court on animal cruelty charges back in 2005. Now, she's to be charged again with multiple counts of animal cruelty in this case.

Animal rescue teams had to don masks to go inside because the smell was unbearable.

Authorities say there were 19 animals running around the house, 13 cats and 6 dogs.

They also found the skeletal remains of 3 dead cats and a dead dog.

"The upstairs middle bedroom housed about five cats," said George Bengal with the SPCA. "The feces was over a foot deep in that bedroom."

Neighbors say there had been a smell emanating through the neighborhood for some time, but they couldn't figure out what it was.

"It was like something was dead. That's how I would described it," said neighbor Joseph Lisaccha.

Authorities call this a classic case of animal hoarding.

Neighbors say Wetzl had been living in the home without any utility service since her arrest on animal cruelty charges back in 2005.

Authorities say the house is unlivable and is to be condemn by L&I later Wednesday.

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