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Berwick man charged with 353 counts of animal cruelty, PSPCA says

Philip Malencore is accused of neglecting 188 animals in his care, including sheep, donkeys, birds, dogs, and a miniature horse.
Credit: FOX43

BERWICK, Pa. — A Berwick, Columbia County man has been charged with committing 353 counts of animal cruelty, including 11 felonies and seven misdemeanors, for alleged acts of cruelty against a total of 188 animals in his care, according to the Pennsylvania SPCA.

Humane Law Enforcement Officers and the Briar Creek Township Police Department executed an arrest warrant Wednesday against Philip Malencore at his Berwick property, the PSPCA said. 

Previously, on Wednesday, April 21, the PSPCA said its officers executed a search warrant at Malencore's property over concerns for animal welfare, removing a total of 188 animals in the process. 

Among the animals rescued were:

  • 112 pigeons
  • 37 rabbits, including newborns
  • 13 sheep, including young lambs
  • 13 doves; six chickens
  • two ducks
  • two dogs
  • one peacock
  • one miniature horse
  • one donkey

The animals were removed from the property over concerns for unsanitary housing, lack of potable water and lack of veterinary care, the PSPCA said.

Malencore is being charged on the felony level for knowingly and intentionally torturing a donkey who was observed to have overgrown hooves causing prolonged pain and suffering, according to the PSPCA. He is charged with failure to provide veterinary care for the donkey as well as two adult rabbits, resulting in the death of one rabbit, and failure to provide necessary sustenance to seven sheep which were found to be in an emaciated body condition, the PSPCA said.

On the misdemeanor level, Malencore is facing charges for failure to provide necessary veterinary care to a mini horse who was underweight with severe dental abnormalities, including ulcers inside the mouth, failure to provide necessary sustenance to three underweight adult sheep, causing bodily injury, and failure to provide necessary veterinary care to two dogs and one rabbit, the PSPCA said. 

The dogs tested positive for Lyme disease, presented with ticks attached and were found to have whipworms, according to the PSPCA.

Summary offenses include failure to provide access to clean and sanitary shelter and protection from the elements for all animals seized from his property, recklessly illtreating eight sheep by failing to sheer them, causing their coats to be so overgrown they became hard with fecal soiling and unsanitary coats, and failure to provide access to potable water for 139 of his animals, according to the PSPCA.

"The sheer number of animals in this case who were subjected to cruelty and neglect is staggering," said Nicole Wilson, Director of Humane Law Enforcement & Shelter Operations at the Pennsylvania SPCA, in a press release announcing the arrest. "As we seek justice for all the animals, we are simultaneously ensuring that they are being given the necessary care by our medical and animal care staff and are on the road to recovery."

To date, Malencore has refused to surrender the animals, the PSPCA said. They will remain in the organization's protective custody until he does so or until the adjudication of the case, according to the PSPCA.

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