SPCA evaluates animals rescued from home

October 1, 2009

Most of the 12 cats and 9 dogs were flea-infested, suffering from dermatological issues and some of them were mildly dehydrated.

All of the animals received appropriate vaccinations, including Rabies. None of the animals were euthanized as a result of their physical condition.

Officials say the animals are very friendly. Though, a few are fearful due to lack of socialization.

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. They 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.

The animals are not available for adoption at this time.

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