Pa. man may face charges in fire that killed pets

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - December 29, 2010

Sixty-year-old Joseph Mayer was barred from owning animals after he pleaded guilty to animal cruelty in 2009.

Fire officials say his home was destroyed Monday in a blaze caused by cardboard, paper and clothing left near a space heater.

Fifteen birds, three cats, three dogs, two rabbits and a chinchilla died in the fire. Three cats, two dogs and one rabbit survived and were being treated at a veterinary center.

The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals expects Mayer to face animal cruelty charges.

Defense attorney Scott Wilhelm said Mayer may not have violated the terms of his guilty plea by owning pets.

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Information from: The Express-Times, http://www.lehighvalleylive.com

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