Several dogs, chickens removed from home

Crime

(WPRI) Officials are investigating after several animals living in deplorable conditions were removed from a home on Cottage Street Thursday night.

Eyewitness News was on scene and saw animal control officers from Woonsocket, Warwick and North Smithfield, as well as investigators from the Rhode Island Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) working to remove the animals.

Crews removed 17 dogs, including a litter of newborn puppies, and chickens from the home.

RISPCA Director of Operations Joe Warzycha said there were also a few dead chickens removed from the home, as well as a dead piglet.

“We have had a handful of these cases lately and these are the worst living conditions that I’ve seen,” Warzycha said.

Police say the owner has a history of animal abuse. She is scheduled to appear in court Friday and will likely be charged with at least 17 counts of animal abuse.

Last week, 25 French bulldogs, four of them pregnant, living in squalid conditions were removed from a Smithfield home. The owners faced several animal cruelty and illegal breeding charges. 

Neighbors showed Eyewitness News a video of a dog that had jumped out of a second-floor window onto the roof, which prompted them to alert authorities. Warzycha confirmed the call, saying police alerted the RISPCA of the incident.

According to Warzycha, the home was slated to be condemned and no one appeared to be living in the home with the animals.

“It was difficult for us to be in there to try and remove the animals,” Warzycha said.

Warzycha said the owner was taken to the Woonsocket Police Department. So far, no charges have been officially filed, though he said there was, “enough evidence to warrant several animal cruelty charges.”

He said the owner will most likely face at least 17 counts of animal cruelty.

According to Warzycha, the dogs will be placed at shelters in Warwick, North Smithfield and Woonsocket.

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