Woman facing cruelty charges after dogs, chickens found in squalid conditions

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(WPRI) – The woman who police said owns several dogs and chickens seized from a RI home on Thursday is facing 17 counts of animal cruelty.

Eyewitness News was on the scene Thursday night as animal control officers from Woonsocket, Warwick and North Smithfield removed 17 dogs – including a litter of newborn puppies – several chickens and unhatched eggs from the Cottage Street home. RISPCA Director of Operations Joe Warzycha said a few dead chickens were also removed, along with a dead piglet.

Korina Ferreira, 40, was arraigned Friday on the 17  misdemeanor counts. Her bail was set at $1,500. The judge ordered that she have no contact with animals.

The Woonsocket police report obtained by Eyewitness News says the house at 36 Cottage Street was on the city’s vacant building list, and had no running water or electricity.

Officer Steven Langevin wrote that there was “fecal matter and dried urine covering the floor making it difficult to breathe.”

Police, animal control officers and the RISPCA removed the animals and brought them to multiple shelters to be cared for.

“This is probably the worst living conditions I’ve seen,” Warzycha said. 

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 call the authorities.

“She literally bolted right out of the window,” said neighbor Donna Elias, who was outside at the time. 

She said she could smell the feces and urine from across the street as officers removed the animals.

“My heart was breaking,” Elias said. 

Police said Ferreira, who lives in Fall River, arrived at the home while they were there.

“She immediately stated, ‘I’m going to jail,’ the police report said. “‘This place is gross and I’ve already been charged with animal cruelty in Mass.’”

According to the MSCPA, Ferreira was found guilty of animal abuse in 2014 after she starved her 2-year-old bull dog Pebbles in Taunton. Pebbles was removed from her home, treated and adopted by another family. 

“I’m honestly furious,” Elias said. “But I’m also at the same time relieved that this actually got resolved.”

Police said Ferreira told them she also has horses and goats, but refused to tell them where they were being kept. Warzycha said the RISPCA was looking into where the animals were located.

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