WASHINGTON AND WESTMORELAND COUNTIES — The Humane Society of the United States said Wednesday that it’s assisting the Washington Area Humane Society in rescuing approximately 150 cats and kittens and several dogs and chickens in a “large-scale alleged neglect situation” on two residential properties in Washington and Westmoreland counties.
The Washington County District Attorney’s office, Pennsylvania State Police, Humane Animal Rescue-Pittsburgh and Brandywine Valley SPCA are also providing assistance, the Humane Society said in a press release.
Local authorities served search and seizure warrants on the properties Wednesday morning, the Humane Society said. The animals appeared to suffer from a lack of proper veterinary care, and were living in filthy conditions typically seen in severe neglect situations.
Many of the cats were found in a dilapidated church, some living in crates overflowing with feces and with no apparent access to food and water. Other cats were found in the dark basement of a Victorian-style house, stacked in crates, according to the Humane Society.
Approximately 20 chickens were also found in the basement of the house, the Humane Society said.
The Humane Society’s Animal Rescue Team is transporting the rescued animals to an undisclosed shelter location. RedRover responders will be assisting in the caretaking of the animals at the shelter location, according to the Humane Society.
“It was distressing to see gentle cats being forced to live in a dungeon-like setting, stacked in crates in a dark basement,” said Kristen Tullo, Pennsylvania State Director for the Humane Society of the United States. “No animal deserves to suffer in conditions like we have seen today. We are thankful to all of the agencies involved for answering the call to get these cats desperately-needed help.”
The assistance of the Humane Society of the United States was requested by the Washington Area Humane Society after concerns about the welfare of animals on the property were raised.
“We have received numerous complaints about this property as conditions deteriorated,” said Kelly Proudfit, executive director of Washington Area Humane Society. “Given the dire condition of the roof structure and the winter season coming, we felt it was necessary to move forward with a rescue operation.
“The Washington Area Humane Society is privately funded, not county funded, and does not have the resources for such a large-scale deployment. We feel very fortunate that the Humane Society of the United States, state police and district attorney’s office were willing to assist us in this large-scale operation with the purpose of rescuing and providing medical care to the animals on this property.”