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More Than a Dozen Animals Removed from Home in Filthy Conditions

OLD FORGE, Pa. — More than a dozen animals were removed from a home where investigators say they were living in deplorable conditions in Lackawanna County...

OLD FORGE, Pa. -- More than a dozen animals were removed from a home where investigators say they were living in deplorable conditions in Lackawanna County.

Humane officers were at the home in Old Forge on Tuesday and Wednesday.

As fire crews looked on, humane officers spent the day in hazmat suits, going in and out of a double block home on Sussex Street in Old Forge.

Inside the home, they found more than a dozen animals living in filthy conditions, all in poor health. Some were even dead.

“There's a flea infestation as well as a couple of other parasites that we're looking into, so it varies,” said Humane Officer Laura Vitali.

Several cats and a dog were removed the day before and brought to Griffin Pond Animal Shelter.

“We're dealing with a case of animal cruelty and neglect, where we've removed multiple live animals as well as dead animals, and we're still working on live animals and discovering what else is in there,” said Humane Officer Charles Shifler.

Neighbors say they've complained to the borough for years about the house. They say a mother and father and their teenage daughter, who is disabled, live on one side; their adult son lives on the other.

Sanitary napkins littered the side of the home. Feces was piled up on a back porch.

Neighbors say conditions outside the home used to be even worse than this until the borough intervened.

“There was garbage all over the place, and the borough had to give them stickers so the garbage man would pick it up,” said Andrea Lavelle. “They have a teenage daughter living in those conditions. They have sanitary napkins on the sidewalk and they're not embarrassed?”

“I felt terrible for the dog. The mange is so bad on him. He would cry every day. Every day we could hear him crying, and we can't do anything,” said Shirley Killino.

The officers have left traps inside the home in an effort to collect any cats left inside.